soil organic matter
stable isotope ratio mass spectrometry
Areas of expertise
My current research interests concern key aspects of the terrestrial environment and, in particular, soil organic matter (SOM), the nature of which is still not wholly understood by the scientific community despite many years of study. Intimately related with this topic is the impact that plants, animals and humans have on the chemistry of the soil environment and how an understanding of the resultant changes can be used to better manage the Earth's resources, investigate the history of soils and neutralise or prevent the effects of pollution in the natural environment. Much progress in these areas has been hampered to date by the limitations of analytical methodologies available. Only with the relatively recent introduction of new techniques, based on organic and compound specific stable isotope ratio mass spectrometry, has it been possible to start probing the complex, dynamic and living 'black box' that constitutes soil.