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«Nottingham Trent University Doctoral School School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences PhD Projects 2016 Welcome to the Nottingham Trent ...»

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The project is a collaboration between Micromix Plant Health Ltd (MPH) and Nottingham Trent University. The objective of this project is to show that foliar-applied N fertiliser can replace soil-applied N fertiliser for cultivation of wheat, without scorching leaves, retaining or bettering the quality & yield of each crop, whilst reducing the overall amount of nitrogen that is applied per hectare by up to 33% - essentially increasing the N use efficiency by changing the mode of application, reducing losses to soil moisture, and reducing the carbon footprint of growing arable crops. The understanding of the dynamic interactions between physical, chemical, environmental and crop-physiological processes, along with metabolic processes, could help in identifying effective fertilizer nutrient composition and in developing next generation foliar fertilizers.

Publications

Lu C., Hawkesford, M.J., Barraclough, P.B., Poulton, P.R., Wilson, I.D., Barker, • G.L. and Edwards, K.J (2005). Markedly different gene expression in wheat grown with organic or inorganic fertilizer. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 272(1575), 1901-1908.

Tyler AM, Bhandari DG, Poole M, Napier JA, Jones HD, Lu C and Lycett GW (2015) • Gluten quality of bread wheat is associated with activity of RabD GTPases, Plant Biotechnology Journal, 13(2), 163-176.

Wilson I.D., Barker G.L.A., Lu C., Coghill, J.A., Beswick, R.W., Lenton, J.R. and • Edwards, K.J (2005). Alteration of the embryo transcriptome of hexaploid winter wheat (Triticum aestivum cv. Mercia) during maturation and germination.

Functional & Integrative Genomics, 5(3), 144-154.

Winfield Mo, Lu C, Wilson ID, Coghill JA & Edwards K J (2010) Plant responses to • cold: transcriptome analysis of wheat. The Plant Biotechnology Journal. 8, 749– 771 Supervisors: Prof Chungui Lu and Dr Wilson Boardman Supervisor biogs Dr Lu has just been appointed Professor of Sustainable Agriculture in NTU. He has gained a considerable amount of work experience in plant and crop sciences. He has a few research projects funded by Innovate UK and BBSRC focusing on the improving nutrient uptake efficiencies of crop species, nitrogen use efficiency and systematic functional analysis of crop nutrient (N, P and K) efficiency in crops. He has successfully supervised 10 PhD students who have graduated.

Dr Wilson Boardman is a director of Micromix Plant Health, who has iteratively developed the MN ingredients over a number of years. He has IP pertaining to the MN formulation.

The first variant of MN was commercialised in 2002; since then, 15 alterations have been made. The formulation of MN is significantly different to Megamix N – MN is specifically for delivering nitrogen into plants. Currently, he has a joint TSB smart project with Prof.

Lu.

Entry Requirements

In order to be eligible to apply, you must hold, or expect to obtain, a UK Master’s degree (or equivalent according to NARIC) with a minimum of a merit, and/or a UK 1stClass/2.1 Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent according to NARIC) in plant and crop sciences, or related subject. The minimum English language proficiency requirement for candidates who have not undertaken a higher degree at a UK HE institution is IELTS 6.5 (with no element to be below 6.0).

Contact: Chungui.Lu@ntu.ac.uk for informal discussions about this project.

Applications should be made to the Doctoral School – www.ntu.ac.uk/doctoralschool Cutting edge technology for mitigation of water pollution and sediment anoxia Eutrophication and harmful algal blooms have frequently occurred worldwide, causing serious ecological and economic impacts to aquatic ecosystems and human health.

Sediment anoxia is crucial for internal release of nutrients that hinder the recovery of eutrophic waters. Hypoxia is often responsible for greenhouse gas emission (such as methane) from these waters to the atmosphere. Few strategies have been developed to combat these environmental problems.

Our previous work demonstrated that these environmental syndromes are related and can be mitigated by novel geo-engineering principles such as the use of modified local soil (MLS) technology. The technology can remove pollutants such as harmful algal blooms and nutrients from the water to the sediment and utilise them as resources for ecological and biodiversity restoration in shallow waters. The sediment anoxia and methane emission can also be reduced by MLS materials containing oxygen nanobubbles.

The project contains three themes covering various effects of MLS manipulation in water, sediment, and air. The study will involve engineering optimization of water treatment;

understanding changes in hydrology, ecology and geochemistry; understanding physicochemical and microbial changes in the sediment; monitoring water-air exchanges, and land-water interactions. We will need 3-4 research students working at scales from the laboratory to mesocosms to controlled ponds and open natural waters. The study may involve international cooperation with China, Baltic Sea countries, and New Zealand/Australia, where their costs will be covered by other projects.

Publications

Zhibin Wang, Honggang Zhang, and Gang Pan, Ecotoxicological assessment of • modified soil flocculants for lake restoration using an integrated biotic toxicity index, Water Research (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2015.08.033 Yuting Yuan, Honggang Zhang, Gang Pan, Flocculation of Cyanobacterial Cells • Using Coal Fly Ash Modified Chitosan, Water Research (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2015.12.003 Pan, G., Krom, M.D., Zhang, M., Zhang, X., Wang, L., Dai, L., Sheng, Y., and • Mortimer, R.J.G. (2013). Impact of suspended inorganic particles on phosphorus cycling in the Yellow River (China) Environmental Science and Technology v. 47, 9685-9692.





Krom, M.D., Ben David, A., Ingall, E.D., Benning, L.G., Clerici, Bottrell, S., Davies, • C., Potts, N., Mortimer, R.J.G., van Rijn, J. (2014). Bacterially mediated removal of phosphorus and cycling of nitrate and sulfate in the waste stream of a “zerodischarge” recirculating mariculture system. Water research v. 56, 109-121.

Palmer-Felgate, E.J., Mortimer, R.J.G., Krom, M.D., Jarvie, H.P., Williams, R.J., • and Stratford, C.J. (2011). Internal loading of phosphorus in a sedimentation pond of a treatment wetland: effect of a phytoplankton crash. Science of the Total Environment 409, 2222-2232.

Supervisors: Professor Pan and Professor Mortimer

Supervisor biogs Professor Mortimer is Dean of the School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences.

He is an environmental geochemist and works on nutrient and trace metal cycling in sediments and their impact on water quality. He has published 63 papers to date (H index 21) and he has supervised 12 PhD students to successful completion.

Professor Pan is a physical and environmental chemist and freshwater ecologist. He works on management of nutrient cycling and pollution control in natural waters and a founder of geo-engineering in lakes. He develops cost-effective, safe technologies for toxic harmful algal bloom and water-pollution control, and fundamental physicochemical theories and methods in environmental and geochemical interfacial sciences (including chemical, environmental, ecological, water, nano, and aquatic geo-engineering approaches). He is the Vice President of Water Environment Committee, Chinese Society of Environment. He has published 190 peer reviewed papers (H index 35) and filed 50 patents.

Entry Requirements

In order to be eligible to apply, you must hold, or expect to obtain, a UK Master’s degree (or equivalent according to NARIC) with a minimum of a merit, and/or a UK 1stClass/2.1 Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent according to NARIC) in chemistry, or related subject.

The minimum English language proficiency requirement for candidates who have not undertaken a higher degree at a UK HE institution is IELTS 6.5 (with no element to be below 6.0).

Contact: gang.pan@ntu.ac.uk for informal discussions about this project. Applications should be made to the Doctoral School – www.ntu.ac.uk/doctoralschool Management of carbon budgets for severely eroded upland blanket peat bogs – impacts of restoration Blanket bog is an important carbon sink and an Annex 1 Habitat priority under the EU Habitats Directive, but in the Peak District National Park much suffers peat erosion and is not currently in favourable condition. Featherbed Moss is a SSSI and GCR, having been noted by Natural England as an important site for studies of vegetation history and peat erosion in the Pennines. Nottingham Trent University is currently researching the impact of restoration by gully blocking on the hydrology and vegetation at the site. This project will extend the research to provide understanding of how restoration affects carbon budgets from blanket peat moorland (dissolved and particulate), assessing possible future benefits for mitigation of climate change.

Publications

Bain, CG, Bonn, A, Stoneman, R, Chapman, S, Coupar, A, Evans, M, Geary, B, • Howat, M, Joosten, H, Keenleyside, C, Labadz, J, Lindsay, R, Littlewood, N, Lunt, P, Miller, CJ, Moxey, A, Orr, H, Reed, M, Smith, P, Swales, V, Thompspn, DBA, Thompson, PS, Van de Noort, R, Wilson, JD and Worrall, F (2011) International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) UK Commission of Inquiry on

Peatlands, Report of the IUCN UK Peatland Programme. Available at:

http://www.iucn-uk-peatlandprogramme.org/resources/188 Clutterbuck, B. and Yallop, A. R. 2010. Land management as a factor controlling • dissolved organic carbon release from upland peat soils 2: Changes in DOC productivity over four decades. Science of the Total Environment, 408: 6179Yallop, A. R. and Clutterbuck, B. 2009. Land management as a factor controlling • dissolved organic carbon release from upland peat soils 1: Spatial variation in DOC productivity. Science of the Total Environment, 407: 3803-3813 Yeloff, D.E., Labadz, J.C., Hunt, C.O., Higgitt, D.L. & Foster, I.D.L. (2005).

• Blanket peat erosion and sediment yield in a southern Pennine upland reservoir catchment. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms vol 30 pp 717-733.

Supervisors: Dr Jillian Labadz and Dr Ben Clutterbuck Supervisor biogs Dr Jillian Labadz is a Reader in Environmental Management and has researched the hydrology and geomorphology of peatlands for over 30 years, specialising in the production of runoff, suspended sediment and dissolved organic carbon and the impacts of restoration activities. She has undertaken research for organisations including Defra and the Environment Agency and has supervised 12 previous successful PhD students and is the Postgraduate Research Tutor for the School of Animal Rural and Environmental Sciences.

Dr Ben Clutterbuck is a senior lecturer in Geographical Information Systems and has worked on a number of research projects for Natural England, the National Trust and Yorkshire Water, relating to hydrology, burning and restoration of upland bogs. He has specialist skills in GIS and remote sensing, in addition to hydrological monitoring.

Entry Requirements A first class or upper second UK BSc (Hons) degree (or equivalent) and ideally a Master’s degree in Geography or other relevant discipline.

Applications can be accepted from UK/EU and also International students. The minimum English language proficiency requirement for candidates who have not undertaken a higher degree at a UK HE institution is IELTS 6.5 (with no element to be below 6.0).

Contact: jillian.labadz@ntu.ac.uk or ben.clutterbuck@ntu.ac.uk for informal discussions about this project.

Applications should be made to the Doctoral School – www.ntu.ac.uk/doctoralschool Chemical exposures and risk assessment in the beach environment Seashores, lakesides and riverbanks are characterised by particular types of landforms composed of different types and sizes of geological, biological and occasionally manmade material: the beach. This is a complex environment, influenced both by in-land and off-shore processes, which form, shape and modify it continuously. Whilst geomorphic features are classified and identified (see for example Scott et al., 2011), their geochemical characteristics are rarely studied and if they are it tends to be for material provenance (e.g., Zaid, 2015; Papadopoulos et al., 2014; Armstrong-Altin et al., 2012, 2014); their link to human exposure and risk to health remains largely unknown.

Beaches and near-shore areas are regions of increasingly recreational usage and whilst the water quality, biodiversity and conservation are systematically studied and reported (e.g., Blue Flag system, marine protected areas, coastal zones management plans, SSSI), with the exception of estuarine environments, there has been no attempt to consider the quality of soils and sediments that make up the beach.

We propose a study to establish a methodology and a baseline for assessing and classifying the environmental geochemistry and potential risk for human health of beaches.

Using pre-existing geochemical datasets, modelling and Geographical Information Systems methodologies, the project aims to map UK beaches and classify their potential geochemical exposure and risk to the human population. The investigation aims to identify potential hot-spots, which will be used to cross-validate the methodology by appropriate field sampling and analyses. The study ultimately expects to influence the introduction of a public health warning system, linked to weather conditions (e.g., in conjunctions with wind direction and/or presence of storms, similarly to pollen indices, flood warning, etc.).

Publications

Concas, S., Ardau, C., Di Bonito, M., Lattanzi, P., And Vacca, A. (2015). Field • sampling of soil pore water to evaluate the mobility and phytoavailable fraction of trace elements in the Iglesiente area (SW Sardinia, Italy). Journal of Geochemical Exploration, 158, 82-94.

De Vivo B., Boni M., Marcello A., Di Bonito M., Russo A.: Baseline Geochemical • Mapping of Sardinia (Italy). Journal of Geochemical Exploration, 60 (1997), pp 77-90.

Zhang, H., Davison, W., Mortimer, R.J.G., Krom, M.D., Hayes, P.J., & Davies, I.M.

• (2002). Localised remobilization of metals in a marine sediment. Science of the Total Environment. v. 296, 175-187.



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