In the Ecosystems lab we work all over the world investigating different types of habitats and doing our best to preserve our natural world. This year our researchers have carried out projects in Kenya, Ghana, Brazil, Colombia, India, Thailand, Scotland, the US and the Maldives.
However, we also have local projects too here in Oxfordshire. For years, we have been working at Wytham Woods and we have more recently started some new projects across the county. Jed Soleiman, a recent MPhil student in the lab is about to continue his studies on the DPhil programme, and has been working in farms and rewilding areas across Oxfordshire and Sussex. His work involves understanding how mycorrhizae in soils respond to nature recovery efforts, especially under rewilding and regenerative agriculture management.
Some of this work has taken place at FarmEd, a not-for-profit organisation in the Cotswolds focusing on educating and advocating for a more regenerative agriculture to benefit both nature and local communities. Here, Jed is investigating the differences between the regenerative rotation and more intensive farming techniques to see how the soil and mycorrhizae respond to help inform future nature recovery strategies.
Dr Cecilia Dahlsjö, who for the past three years has been investigating the effects of Ash Dieback in Wytham Woods, has been supervising and training Jed with a series of techniques that she uses to monitor her plots including total soil, heterotrophic, and mycorrhizal respiration. Jed has also been kindly advised by Dr Nobuo Imai, a visiting Associate Professor from the Tokyo University of Agriculture, on developing and setting up the mycorrhizal respiration experiment. Jed is also supervised by Professor Yadvinder Malhi, Dr Jesus Aguirre-Gutierrez, and Dr Laura M. Suz.
Here are some pictures of Yadvinder, Jed, Cecilia, and Nobuo carrying out respiration measurements in the field .