Name: Francis Parry Roberts
Project title: Land use change and the effect on soil hydraulic function
Where based: CEH, Bangor.
I have recently completed an ‘Environment and Sustainability’ degree at Keele University, graduating with first class honours and winning a departmental outstanding achievement award. Before this, I had worked briefly as the head chef in one of Bristol’s city farm projects, run my own small catering business, and spent a number of years living in an ecologically focused Buddhist community in Devon.
How does land cover change and land use affect the way in which water penetrates and moves through the soil? What impact can we expect this to have on the delivery of Ecosystem Services into the future? This research aims to help answer these questions by gathering soil hydraulic data for the major UK soil types, under different land uses, in order to better parameterise existing models which fall short of accounting for changes to soil structure due to land use differences. The implications of better understanding and more accurate modelling of water movement through the soil are far ranging, as we attempt to establish the best ways to use land resources considering mounting pressures on our land base from increasing demand, rising population, and the unfolding effects of climate change.