3 March, 2017

Soil macronutrient cycles beneath our feet: predicting how soil carbon and nitrogen manipulation regulates phosphorus cycling for environmental benefits

Supervisor: Marc Stutter

Registered: Lancaster University

Based: James Hutton Institute and Lancaster University

Scientific developments are needed to unite global goals of improving soil quality and enhancing soil phosphorus efficiency. Organic matter cycles of the major nutrients P, N and C are both regulating, and regulated by, soil microbial and chemical processes. We see this as the ‘engine room’ that we need to promote to ‘top up’ available phosphorus as society strives to reduce reliance on chemical fertiliser inputs and minimise impacts such as reactive P leaching.

This studentship will develop new knowledge, conceptual and predictive models, using manipulations and soil sensors, to understand timescales of improved soil P functions associated with microbial and soil organic matter quality changes? The training elements of this include working between university, research institute and commercial environments, integrating soil to catchment skills in physico-chemical and microbial aspects of nutrient cycling, across scales, in an active, interdisciplinary team at the forefront of applying and communicating soil biogeochemical knowledge.

This project benfits from CASE funding from Environmental Monitoring Solutions.

Eligibility: Applicants should hold a minimum of a UK Honours Degree at 2:1 level or equivalent in subjects such as Environmental Science, Geography or Natural Sciences. Only open to UK/EU residents.

For further details please contact Dr Marc Stutter:, or Prof Phil Haygarth:

Further information for applicants

Student eligibility rules

Apply here