Skip to main content


Conference funding: Rhizosphere 5

Recently, I have secured funding to present my research on the rhizosphere microbiome of Brassica napus (Oilseed Rape) at an upcoming international conference. Rhizosphere 5, will be held in Saskatoon (Canada) from the 7th to 11th of July 2019 and will bring together individuals from around the globe who are focused on many different aspects of rhizosphere research. This is an exciting opportunity to discuss my research and I would like to thank the Vegetable Research Trust and the Rhizosphere 5 Student Travel Awards for funding my attendance.

See you soon Saskatoon!

Ellis Monaghan, 3rd Year PhD Student

Thu 30 May 2019, 14:20 | Tags: travel grant, PhD Students, PhD, Agriculture, Microbiology, presentation

Best Poster Presentation at the British Society of Soil Science ECR conference

Katy prize

In April I attended the British Society of Soil Science Early Career Researcher conference held for 2 days at the University of Sheffield. I had a great time meeting other soil science researchers and hearing about all the exciting research taking place here in the UK. At the conference, I gave a 5 minute talk presenting a poster of some of my PhD work, and I ended up winning the "Best Poster Presentation" prize for this. The conference also had a workshop on "The PhD Viva Experience" and a group activity in the Botanical Gardens, which were particular highlights!

I am very grateful to BSSS for funding my attendance at this conference.

By Katy Faulkner, 2nd Year PhD Student

Thu 30 May 2019, 10:35 | Tags: climate change, PhD, Soil, presentation, prize

PUBlic engagement at Pint of Science

I recently spoke at a Pint of Science event in Coventry. Pint of Science is an annual festival which, since it begun in 2013, has now grown to cover almost 400 cities in 24 countries worldwide. Its aim is to bring scientists and the public together in spaces such as pubs to encourage discussion. I was part of the "Nurturing Nature" themed evening at The Yard pub on 20th May, where we also heard talks from a geochemist and an atmospheric scientist. My talk was called "More than dirt: the hidden world under our feet", and I took the audience on a tour through the world of soil and its microscopic inhabitants. The highlight was an interactive experiment to illustrate how we can now investigate the soil microbiome using DNA sequencing approaches. The audience got to extract DNA from their own sample of strawberry, and it was great to see everyone getting stuck in!

By Amy, 3rd year PhD student

Thu 30 May 2019, 09:46 | Tags: outreach, PhD Students, PhD, Soil, Microbiology, presentation

STEM for Britain

STEM for Britain AmyIn March 2019, I had the opportunity to go to Parliament to present my work as part of the STEM for Britain competition. Held annually in Westminster, the event promotes the work of PhD students and Early Career Researchers, and many Members of Parliament attend. This gave me the chance (or challenge!) to consider and present the context and impact of my work in a much broader sense than I’m used to. It was also great to meet both other researchers from around the country, and influential people such as the President of the Royal Society of Biology.

By Amy, 3rd year PhD student

Fri 03 May 2019, 16:01 | Tags: Business, Politics, PhD Students, PhD, Agriculture, Soil, Microbiology

Soil Ecology course in the Netherlands: The Multi-functional Potential of Soils

Katy soil courseIn January 2019, I attended the PhD course ‘Soil Ecology: The Multifunctional Potential of Soils’ in the Netherlands. This was the first international course of my PhD, and the first opportunity to share my research outside of my University community. At the event, I had the opportunity to present a poster of the research I have done so far, and engaged in some really useful and interesting discussions with other PhD students and academics. It was really beneficial to talk to other researchers in my field who face similar challenges to me in terms of experimental design and the set-up of long-term ecological experiments. I also participated in discussions and debates of current and relevant topics in soil ecology, which made me consider and criticise research topics including climate change, food security and biodiversity. The conference also enabled me to network with a variety of students and academics in my field.

I am very grateful to the British Ecological Society for allowing me to attend this course by awarding me a Training and Travel grant.

By Katy Faulkner, 2nd year PhD student

Tue 02 Apr 2019, 10:46 | Tags: travel grant, climate change, PhD Students, PhD, Soil, Course

Older news