Nanomaterial interactions with soil microbial communities and soil fauna

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: Sch of Geography, Earth & Env Sciences


BBSRC : Jessica Chadwick : BB/T00746X/1

Conventional agriculture needs large inputs of nutrients, through the addition of fertiliser, in order to produce the amount of food needed globally to sustain the population. Typical fertilisers are hugely wasteful, polluting the atmosphere and waterways, and affecting human health, wildlife, and ecosystem stability. Nanomaterials are very small particles that have potential to be used as fertilisers in order to improve nutrient use efficiency and reduce waste. This project will look at the interactions between a pre-selected range of nanomaterials and soil microbes, specifically looking at how polluting gases released from soils differ, how microbial activity changes, and how nutrients are stored in the soil differently. The project will also look at the effects of the nanomaterials on earthworms in order to look at any potentially toxic effects the nanomaterials may have. The research project will develop collaboration between McGill and Birmingham and hopefully lead to joint publications.


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