Soil surfactants – Secret agents for carbon sequestration?
Mitigating the effects of drought is critical for future food security. Drying soils can rapidly become water-repellent, requiring substantial irrigation to restore adequate water supply to plants, which also increases soil erosion and run-off. Soil wetting agents (soil surfactants) are increasingly being used to overcome these issues, but we do not know how surfactants might influence microbial processes underpinning soil carbon storage.
This PhD project will investigate whether surfactants represent a resource for soil microbes, and test how the effects of surfactants on plants and microbes could enhance soil carbon storage. You will receive training in cutting-edge lab techniques, collaborate with an industrial partner, and conduct novel experiments to address important questions around soil health and climate-resilient agriculture. Your supervisors will provide bespoke support as you develop and publish novel research.
If you are keen to conduct research with practical applications in agriculture and industry, then you should apply!
The successful applicant will hold a minimum of a UK Honours Degree at 2:1 level, or equivalent, in a relevant subject. Research experience, especially lab-based, is highly desirable and candidates with a Master’s degree are particularly encouraged to apply. A strong work ethic, willingness to learn new techniques and participation in training are essential.
For informal enquiries or a chat about the project, please contact Dr Emma Sayer
To apply for this project follow this link