ProjectControls on the stability of soils

Their Functioning under Land Use and Climate Change

Through experiment and model this project will test the idea that the ability of a soil to withstand, recover and adapt to
disturbance depends on the architecture and diversity of the soil food web.

Prof. Richard Bardgett
University of Manchester

Co-PIs & Co-Is

Dr. Franciska de Vries, The University of Manchester
Dr. Tancredi Caruso, Queen’s University of Belfast
Professor Mark Emmerson, Queen’s University of Belfast
Professor David Johnson, University of Manchester
Professor Elizabeth Baggs, University of Edinburgh

Aims & Objectives

The areas of investigation for this project are:

  • Soil disturbances associated with intensive land use erode food web structures
  • What makes a food web stable?
  • To develop new models to help better predict how soils will respond to future threatsUnderstanding and enhancing soil ecosystem services and resilience in UK grass and croplands

Richard Bardgett

soil ecologist


Mathilde Chome

soil ecologist

Mathilde’s research focuses on the plant-soil organism’s interactions and their impact on litter decomposition process and ecosystem functioning. Her main research interest is the study of plant-soil organism’s interactions and their impact on litter decomposition process and ecosystem functioning. Specifically she has experience in C and N cycling, secondary metabolites analysis, mesofauna identification, microbial biomass and activity and ecology of mycorrhizal fungi. She is familiar with a range of analytic techniques including GC-MS, HPLC, UPLC-Q-TOF, use of stable isotopes and PLFA.

For more information about Mathilde please click here

Heather Stott


Heather’s research focuses on the impact of land use and climate change on ecosystem functions in UK grasslands. Specifically, she has experience with greenhouse gas fluxes, soil microbial community analysis, botanical surveys and plant-soil nutrient cycling. She is familiar with a range of techniques including gas flux measurements, gas and ion chromatography, PLFA analysis and statistics.

Jocelyn Lavallee

soil biogeochemist

Jocelyn’s research focuses on the effects of land use, flooding and drought on soil food webs and soil functioning in UK grasslands. Specifically she has experience with the formation of soil organic matter and the processes that cause some of it to persist for centuries to millennia. She is familiar with a range of extraction and analytical techniques including 13C and 15N tracing, soil organic matter fractionation, soil incubations, and hydrogen pyrolysis.

For more information about Jocelyn, please click here.