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The effects of soil management practices on CAZyme expression by soil microbial communities and their influence on soil structure and crop production

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, April 07, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Understanding links between CAZyme expression by soil microbial communities and crop management and production.
The project will use metagenomics to identify microbial communities in soil and their role in carbohydrate cycling that contribute to crop nutrition and resilience of soil structure. Studying the effects of cropping and soil management practices on these communities will assist recommendation of optimum practices that ensure sustainable soil health and maximise crop productivity.


The project compliments an ongoing 5-year AHDB-funded Research Partnership on the importance of soil biology in the overall management and sustainability of soil health and the optimisation of soil biological function to support crop and grassland productivity.


Microbial degradation of organic material in soil plays a key role in crop fertility and productivity.
• Bacterial and fungal communities are involved in the aggregation of soil particles to form a stabilised resilient soil structure, which influences many biotic, physical and chemical aspects of soils that effect sustainability of agroecosystems and agricultural productivity.
• Common cropping and soil management practices can cause measurable changes to those components of the soil microbiome that affect soil structure and nutrient cycling.

Full Project Description

How to Apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system
Further application guidance can be found within each project outline

You should also send a covering letter and CV to Mr Steven Hall )
The online application system will only allow one application for an IAFRI studentship. If you are applying for TWO projects then you will need to e-mail Postgraduate Admissions and Steven Hall with the following information:
• your applicant number (from the first project application)
• the second project title
• a two page covering letter for the second project
Please also include 'IAFRI-03' in the email header

Funding Notes

There are five studentships available from 10 projects to choose from based on the current themes.
Students will be based at either Newcastle University or Fera Science Ltd in York. Each award provides a 3 year PhD with 100% tuition fees at UK/EU rate plus an annual stipend (minimum £15,009) Successful non-EU international students will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

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