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Metabolic constraints arising from the loss of organic carbon and structure from soils

  • Full or part time
    Dr A Neal
    Prof J Crawford
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, August 09, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Carbon plays a huge role in soil fertility, crop production and global climate change.

Organic carbon is often implicitly linked with soil structure and its rapid loss from conventionally managed agricultural soils is a cause of serious concern. Soil without biology however, is just dirt: it is critical that we understand the consequences of carbon and structural losses for soil metabolism.

Rothamsted Research and BASF are setting up a cohort of PD studentships looking at the effects of soil health on agricultural productivity and sustainability. Two studentship projects are now underway. A new opening is now available for a student to join our applied research programme.

As the successful PhD candidate, you will work within an experienced multidisciplinary team of academics and practitioners generating insight of soil as a metabolically-active system: one within which microbial activity – the engine of soil fertility - is explicit. You will:

• Have access to imaging and modelling techniques to describe soil structure and hydrodynamics

• Generate and analyse biological sequence data from soil microbiomes and

• Have opportunities to collaborate internationally on soils where carbon is severely limited

The closing date for applications is the 9th August 2019.

Funding Notes

Each student will be supported by the tax-free stipend (£14,777 in 2018/19), for 4 years. In addition, for eligible students, the award will cover fees for EU/UK nationals and a Research and Training Grant to fund their research, conference attendance and networking.


Applicants should hold a minimum of a UK Honours Degree at 2:1 level or equivalent in relevant subject areas.

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