By Richard D Bardgett, January 28th 2016 by Oxford University Press, 224 pages, ISBN: 9780199668564.
Richard Bardgett’s new book, Earth Matters, discusses the many, and sometimes surprising, ways that humanity has depended on soil throughout history, and still does today. Analysing the role soil plays in our own lives, despite increasing urbanisation, and in the biogeochemical cycles that allow the planet to function effectively, Bardgett considers how superior soil management could combat global issues such as climate change, food shortages, and the extinction of species. Looking to the future, Bardgett argues that it is vital for the future of humanity for governments worldwide to halt soil degradation, and to put in place policies for the future sustainable management of soils. For more information, see Richard’s recent blog.
I am the laboratory manager/technician, and in this role I run, maintain, and train people to use the various instruments in the lab. I studied Animal science and management at university and then went on to complete an MSc in Conservation biology, with my thesis based on population genetics. I have helped out on numerous tropical field courses along with the fieldwork for some of the UK based projects currently going on in the lab group.
Richard’s research is broadly concerned with understanding the role of interactions between plant and soil communities in regulating the structure and function of terrestrial ecosystems, and their response to global change. A particular focus of my research is ecosystem nitrogen and carbon cycling and I work in a range of ecosystems, but mostly focus on alpine and temperate grasslands, and peatlands.