Soil Biology

Soil organisms carry out many of the ecosystem functions that enable life on land.  They contribute to soil formation, nutrient recycling and exchange, water supply, flood mitigation, storage of soil carbon, absorption and emission of greenhouse gases, development of biochemical and medical products and control of pests and diseases.

The soil biology special interest group was formed in 2017 to bring together soil scientists, entomologists, microbiologists, ecologists, taxonomists, naturalists, farmers, agronomists, conservationists and others with an interest in understanding the ecology, diversity and function of soils.  We aim to support anyone working on any soil taxa, but are particularly interested in integrating an understanding of microbes and plants with larger soil fauna such as mites, springtails and earthworms.

Our developing group aims to provide a range events of interest from small-scale regional workshops and meetings up to large-scale international conferences, as well as providing other opportunities for knowledge exchange, such as webinars or training days for soil organisms identification.

Convenor

Matthew Shepherd

Matthew is a Senior Specialist in Soil Biodiversity at Natural England.  His work aims to promote better understanding of and management of soil life to help deliver more effective and sustainable conservation and agriculture and other land management, through work in areas such as engagement, strategy, monitoring, research and training.  He runs the national recording scheme for mites (Acari) and frequently provides training in identification of earthworms, springtails and mites

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Group Members

Felicity Crotty

Felicity is a lecturer in soil science at the Royal Agricultural University. Her research interests and activities over the last ten years have broadly fit within two interlinked categories - 1) Healthy soils and 2) Soil Biology. The main focus of her research for the last six years has been healthy soils. How resilient is a soil to changes within agricultural management, food security and climate change and how does this impact soil biology is an important research topic I am pursuing.

Richard Gantlett

Richard is a farmer at Yatesbury House Farm in Wiltshire and is passionate about developing sustainable farming methods using agricultural knowledge, science and technology. Richard spent some years farming conventionally before converting the family farm to organic methods in 1998. The farm is now 650ha together with a pedigree Aberdeen Angus suckler herd of some 280 animals, producing wheat, oats, barley and beans, finished cattle and breeding stock, electricity and timber. Investment in research is the key to a progressive, sustainable and secure future, our points of difference being: no ploughing since 2003; diverse ley mixtures of 32 varieties from 23 species; dynamic cattle grazing of leys; use of bio cultivations; closed farm and working Biodynamically.

Richard is also a doctoral researcher at the University of Reading working on soil regeneration, looking at high biomass rotation and its impact on soil health, weed burden and crop production.

Olaf Schmidt

Peter Shaw

Kevin Butt

Kate Storer

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AAB Office:

Warwick Enterprise Park, Wellesbourne, Warwick CV35 9EF. Tel: +44 (0)2476 999486.


Email: 

carol@aab.org.uk (Executive Officer, Conference Organisation & Planning, Administration, Annals of Applied Biology & Advertising)
alberto@aab.org.uk (AAB Office & Finance Manager, General Enquiries)

bernadette@aab.org.uk (Aspects of Applied Biology & DPV Sales, Accounts, Conference Bookings)
john@aab.org.uk (Conference Administration, Aspects of Applied Biology Editorial Queries)
hussein@aab.org.uk (Food and Energy Security Editorial Office, Membership, Website & Newsletter)

Registered Charity No: 275655

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