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Assistant Professor (Education) in the Department of Biosciences+44 (0) 191 33 41254


Research Interests

I am a plant ecologist with research interests in applied ecological restoration and biogeochemical influences on plant communities.

Much of my research has focused on the landscape-scale restoration of blanket bog in the Peak District and southern Pennines, in collaboration with the Moors for the Future Partnership. These peatlands are severely degraded due to a history of poor land management, wildfire and intense atmospheric pollution. Restoration efforts have focused on the revegetation and stabilisation of bare and eroding peat surfaces, with considerable success. However, Sphagnum mosses are still widely absent from the region. This genus provides the form and function of these peatlands meaning their return is essential to the continued provision of valuable ecosystem services, such as carbon sequestration and provision of drinking water. My research has two main strands: 1) elucidating biogeochemical influences on natural Sphagnum recovery, and 2) applied considerations of Sphagnum reintroduction, including the use of novel propagules – BeadaMoss.

Prior to this, I worked on the heather moorlands of the Peak District investigating aspects relating to their management. I studied the impacts of rotational burning on soil seed banks and biogeochemical properties. Concurrently, I collated knowledge on the heather beetle (Lochmaea suturalis), providing The Heather Trust with an update on the current state of knowledge of this important pest species.

More recently, I have been working with the Great Manchester Wetlands Partnership to develop a simple hydrological model to highlight priority areas for wetland habitat management and creation. In conjunction with colleagues at Manchester Metropolitan University, using GIS we combined landscape characteristics, such as topography, land cover and soil type, to produce a regional-scale, high resolution model.

Exposed bare peat and extensive erosion on Kinder Scout, Peak District


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