The Soil Systems Group sits within Cranfield's broader Soils research area and is concerned with understanding physical, chemical and biological processes in soils and interactions between soils and plants. We do this at scales from the soil micro-pore to the pedon, field, landscape and beyond, and across all ecosystem types – agricultural, urban and natural.
We use whole-system approaches, and we aim to understand systems well enough to develop predictive mathematical models of them.
Key research areas
- Soil micro-structure and its effects on soil processes;
- Processes in the root-soil interface and rhizosphere;
- Characterisation of the biological community and its dynamics;
- Soil carbon and organic matter;
- Soil nutrients, toxins and contaminants.
- Guy Kirk - Professor of Soil Systems
- Jim Harris - Professor of Environmental Technology
- Wilfred Otten - Professor Soil Biophysics
- Sarah de Baets - Lecturer Plant Soil Systems
- Mark Pawlett - Senior Research Fellow in Soil Biology
- Ben Ingram - Research Fellow in Soil Modelling
- Xavier Portell-Canal - Research Fellow in Modelling Soil Processes
- Csilla Hudek - Research Fellow in Modelling Root Traits
Our facilities and resources
Facilities available to our group include:
- Dedicated laboratories for soil physical, chemical and biological analyses;
- Controlled environment cabinets for plant growth;
- Glasshouse with root trait analysis equipment;
- The Wolfsen Field Laboratory for whole-soil carbon studies and gas emissions;
- The CHAP Soil Health facility.