Soil and Root 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.

Group Convener

Charlotte White

Charlotte is a crop physiologist at ADAS. Based in Nottinghamshire her interests include crop rooting, crop water use, cover cropping, and sustainable yield improvement.



Group Members

Harry Henderson

Harry started out as a tractor, combine and crop sprayer operator. He then worked for Rothamsted Research Station UK, before coming farm manager at Monsanto Cambridge. From there he took a role with John Deere UK Ltd as a Crop Systems Specialist involved in technical dealer sales support in combine harvester, crop sprayer and precision technology products.

In 2013 Harry joined AHDB as a regional manager for the North of England and is now a Knowledge Exchange Manager with a focus technical knowledge exchange, mechanisation, soil management and arable farming.


Felicity Roos

Felicity Roos is the ‘National Consultant – Soil’ with the National Trust.She has spent the last 10 years working with farmers and land managers in Australia, Ghana and the UK on the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices, and climate change adaptation and resiliency. Her work has focused on natural resource management focusing on the application of scientific principles to the understanding, management and conservation of soil and water resources. Specialising in soil – its management and role in delivering sustainable food systems, ecosystem services and climate change mitigation.


Her main interests are in the policy and practice of sustainable food systems; the role of agro-ecology and holistic land management in combating climate change and restoring the environment.


Lizzie Emmett

A farm advisor and farmers daughter, Lizzie runs the Wensum Farmers Cluster Group – a nationally recognised self-funded collaboration of 27 farmers, covering 10,000ha in Norfolk. Employed directly by the farmers, she specialises in reducing farm pollution losses, improving water quality and enhancing biodiversity.

Charlotte White

Victoria Burton

Victoria Burton is a postdoctoral researcher at the Natural History Museum, London. She is interested in soil and leaf litter invertebrate biodiversity and is passionate about public participation in research.

Charlotte White

Mark Hodson

Mark Hodson is a professor in the Department of Environment and Geography at the University of York. His research interests range from understanding the fate and behaviour of emerging contaminants to the impacts of land management on soil properties. Considerations of earthworm behaviour in response to and influence on soil properties has underpinned much of his research.