Can glacial flour stimulate N cycling in croplands?

About the project or challenge area

Glacial flour produced from the erosive force of glaciers contains a multitude of minerals that if applied to cropland soils it could chemically weather in situ, potentially increasing soil fertility and reducing the need for chemical fertilisers. Glacial sediments are well known to contain N cycling micro-organisms but little is known about the capacity of glacial flour to stimulate processes such as nitrogen fixation, nitrification and denitrification in cropland soils, which can in turn affect the N availability for crop production. This project will look at the microbial nitrogen activity in glacial flour-amended soils by using state-of-the art stable isotope probing techniques.

Why choose this opportunity?

You will receive training in state-of-the art stable isotope techniques, soil and sediment nutrient analysis and will form part of a vibrant team researching nutrient cycling in glaciers.

About you

You will have some experience in nutrient analysis which would be advantageous, although training will be provided.

How to apply

All students can apply using the button below, following the Master's by Research Admissions Statement. Please note that this is an advertised project, which means you only have to complete Section A of the Masters by Research Statement Template (Office document, 68kB).

Jemma Wadham Supervisor

Your supervisor for this project will be Jemma Wadham, Professor in Glaciology in the School of Geographical Sciences. You can contact her at +44 (0) 117 42 82352 or email .


Your co-supervisor for this project will be Dr Fotis Sgouridis from the School of Geographical Sciences. You can contact him at +44 (0) 117 928 8078 or email .

Find out more about your prospective research community

The Food Security theme is a vibrant community of researchers who strive to address the challenge of feeding the growing human population sustainably without devastating our environment. Find out more about the Food Security research theme.

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