Areas of expertise
- Soil Resources
- Water Science and Engineering
Dr Rob Simmons is a Reader in sustainable soil management. Rob is an applied soil scientist with >25 years’ experience of sustainable soil management founded on a robust understanding of the associated processes. Rob has an extensive research portfolio and has been PI or CoI on >14 BBSRC, NERC, Innovate UK, Environment Agency, WRAP and AHDB funded projects with funding totalling over £3 million in the last 7 years. This portfolio has focused on mitigating diffuse pollution through applied soil conservation options (grassed water way design, filtersocks, companion crops, mulches), optimizing whole farm ‘big data’ use, controlling splash detachment and structural sealing through polymer-based solutions and increasing understanding of soil management challenges in high value horticultural crops. His recent research under BBSRC project (BB/J006092/1) has investigated the effect of rainfall-induced structural sealing on the hydrological response of the soil surface. He also has 10 years practical experience of soil management in Southeast and South Asia with 7 years at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI). Rob’s research overseas included modelling the off-site impacts of Cd-contaminated sediments on paddy systems and impacts on human health, phytoremediation of Cd, and assessment and mitigation of diffuse pollution in South and Southeast Asia.
Current research activities focus on optimising filtersock technologies to concurrently and/or sequentially remove sediment, sediment-bound P, orthophosphate-P and pesticides from agricultural runoff; modelling and mitigating metal (cadmium & arsenic) contamination of rice grain in South Asia (BB/ P02274X/1: Funded by BBSRC-GCRF); polymer-based options to prevent structural sealing and soil splash; management options to improve stand longevity in asparagus.
Articles In Journals
- Nascimento CDV, Simmons RW, de Andrade Feitosa JP, dos Santos Dias CT & Costa MCG (2021) Potential of superabsorbent hydrogels to improve agriculture under abiotic stresses, Journal of Arid Environments, 189 (June) Article No. 104496.
- Lees C, De Baets S, Rickson RJ & Simmons RW (2020) Selecting plant traits for soil erosion control in grassed waterways under a changing climate: A growth room study, European Journal of Soil Science, Available online 09 September 2020 1-17.
- Cooke AL, Simmons RW, Rickson RJ & Sakrabani ER (2020) Efficacy of selected phosphorous sorbing materials (PSMs) to enhance the orthophosphate sorption capacity of filter socks, Water and Environment Journal, Available online 18 November 2020.
- Niziolomski JC, Simmons RW, Rickson RJ & Hann MJ (2020) Efficacy of mulch and tillage options to reduce runoff and soil loss from asparagus interrows, CATENA, 191 (August) Article No. 104557. Dataset/s: 10.17862/cranfield.rd.3574053
- Storr T, Simmons RW & Hannam JA (2020) Using frost sensitive cover crops for timely nitrogen mineralization and soil moisture management, Soil Use and Management, Available online 04 July 2020. Dataset/s: 10.17862/cranfield.rd.7660817
- Mašková L, Simmons RW, De Baets S, Montero EM, Delmer A & Sakrabani R (2019) Assessment of silt from sand and gravel processing as a suitable sub-soil material in land restoration: a glasshouse study, Chemosphere, 219 (March) 58-65.
- Storr T, Simmons RW & Hannam JA (2019) A UK survey of the use and management of cover crops, Annals of Applied Biology, 174 (2) 179-189. Dataset/s: 10.17862/cranfield.rd.7314278
- Unagwu BO, Simmons RW & Rickson RJ (2019) Organic amendment and inorganic fertiliser addition: effect on soil nutrient, growth and yield of maize, Middle East Journal of Agriculture Research, 8 (2) 445-456.
- Armenise E, Simmons RW, Ahn S, Garbout A, Doerr SH, Mooney SJ, Sturrock CJ & Ritz K (2018) Soil seal development under simulated rainfall: structural, physical and hydrological dynamics, Journal of Hydrology, 556 (January) 211-219. Dataset/s: https://doi.org/10.17862/cranfield.rd.5591068
- Campbell S, Simmons R, Rickson J, Waine T & Simms D (2018) Using Near-Surface Photogrammetry Assessment of Surface Roughness (NSPAS) to assess the effectiveness of erosion control treatments applied to slope forming materials from a mine site in West Africa, Geomorphology, 322 (December) 188-195.
- Niziolomski JC, Simmons RW, Rickson RJ & Hann MJ (2018) Managing runoff and soil loss in asparagus production systems, Acta Horticulturae, 1223 127-134.
- Prasitsarn M, Polthanee A, Trelo-Ges V & Simmons RW (2018) Effects of cutting length and bud removal on root yield and starch content of cassava under rainfed conditions, Experimental Agriculture, 54 (3) 336-348.
- Garbout A, Sturrock C, Armenise E, Ahn S, Simmons R, Doerr S, Ritz K & Mooney S (2018) TopCap: an ImageJ plugin to automatically determine and quantify complex surface topologies and associated sub-surface structures in X-ray Computed Tomography images, Vadose Zone Journal, 17 (1) Article No. 170091.
- Simmons RW & Tole J (2017) Sustainability lies in the soil, Research Features (113) 40-43.
- Niziolomski JC, Simmons RW, Rickson RJ & Hann MJ (2016) Tine options for alleviating compaction in wheelings, Soil and Tillage Research, 161 (August) 47-52. Dataset/s: 10.17862/cranfield.rd.3380086.v1
- Simmons RW, Chaney RL, Angle JS, Kruatrachue M, Klinphoklap S, Reeves RD & Bellamy P (2015) Towards practical cadmium phytoextraction with Noccaea caerulescens, International Journal of Phytoremediation, 17 (2) 191-199.
- Simmons RW, Ahmad W, Noble AD, Blummel M, Evans A & Weckenbrock P (2010) Effect of long-term un-treated domestic wastewater re-use on soil quality, wheat grain and straw yields and attributes of fodder quality, Irrigation and Drainage Systems, 24 (1-2) 95-112.
- Simmons RW, Noble AD, Pongsakul P, Sukreeyapongse O & Chinabut N (2009) Cadmium-hazard mapping using a general linear regression model (Irr-Cad) for rapid risk assessment, Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 31 (1) 71-79.
- Simmons RW, Noble AD, Pongsakul P, Sukreeyapongse O & Chinabut N (2008) Analysis of field-moist Cd contaminated paddy soils during rice grain fill allows reliable prediction of grain Cd levels, Plant and Soil, 302 (1-2) 125-137.
- Marcussen H, Joergensen K, Holm PE, Brocca D, Simmons RW & Dalsgaard A (2008) Element contents and food safety of water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica Forssk.) cultivated with wastewater in Hanoi, Vietnam, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 139 (1) 77-91.
- Soda W, Noble AD, Suzuki S, Simmons RW, Sindhusen L & Bhuthomdharaj S (2006) Co-composting of acid waste bentonites and their effects on soil properties and crop biomass, Journal of Environmental Quality, 35 (6) 2293-2301.
- Simmons RW, Pongsakul P, Saiyasitpanich D & Klinphoklap S (2005) Elevated levels of cadmium and zinc in paddy soils and elevated levels of cadmium in rice grain downstream of a zinc mineralized area in Thailand: Implications for public health., Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 27 (5-6) 501-511.
- Reeves PG, Chaney RL, Simmons RW & Cherian MG (2005) Erratum: Metallothionein indiction is not involved in cadmium accumulation in the duodenum of mice and rats fed diets containing high-cadmium rice or sunflower kernels and a marginal supply of zinc, iron, and calcium (Journal of Nutrition (2005) 135 (99-108)), Journal of Nutrition, 135 (4) 966-966.
- Reeves PG, Chaney RL, Simmons RW & Cherian MG (2005) Metallothionein induction is not involved in cadmium accumulation in the duodenum of mice and rats fed diets with high-cadmium rice or sunflower kernels and a marginal supply of zinc, iron, and calcium, Journal of Nutrition, 135 (1) 99-108.
- Chaney RL, Reeves PG, Ryan JA, Simmons RW, Welsh RM & Angle JS (2004) An improved understanding of soil Cd risk to humans and low cost methods to phytoextract Cd from contaminated soils to prevent soil Cd risks, BioMetals, 17 (5) 549-553.
- Simmons RW & Pongsakul P (2004) Preliminary stepwise multiple linear regression method to predict cadmium and zinc uptake in soybean., Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, 35 (13-14) 1815-1828.
- Simmons RW, Pongsakul P, Chaney RL, Saiyasitpanich D, Klinphoklap S & Nobuntou W (2003) The relative exclusion of zinc and iron from rice grain in relation to rice grain cadmium as compared to soybean: Implications for human health., Plant and Soil, 257 (1) 163-170.
- Storr T, Simmons RW & Hannam JA (2018) Soil water and available nitrogen during cover crop growth. In: Soil Improvement: Impact of Management Practices on Soil Function and Quality, 2018, Cambridge, 16 October 2018.
- Storr T, Simmons R & Hannam J (2017) The use of cover crops in the UK: a survey. In: Sustainable Intensification, 2017, Harpenden, 28-30 November 2017.
- Storr T, Simmons RW & Hannam JA (2017) Do cover crops give short term benefits for soil health?. In: Sustainable Intensification, 2017, Harpenden, 28-30 November 2017.
- Whelan A, Kechavarzi C, Sakrabani R, Coulon F, Simmons RW & Wu G (2010) The influence of compost addition on the water repellency of brownfield soils.. In: European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2010, Vienna, Austria, 2 May 2010.
- Weckenbrock P, Drescher A, Simmons RW, Amerasinghe P & Jacobi J (2009) Lower than expected risks of wastewater irrigated agriculture. In: 2nd German-Indian Conference on Research for Sustainability: Energy and Land Use, 2009, Bonn, Germany, 27 April 2009.
- Simmons RW, Chaney RL, Angle JS, Kruatrachue M, Reeves R & Klinphoklap S (2009) Towards practical Cd phytoremediation with Thlaspi Caerulescens. In: International Phytotechnologies Conference 2009, St Louis, Missouri, 2 December 2009.
- Matsuno Y, Ensink JHJ, Van Der Hoek W & Simmons RW (2003) Assessment of the use of wastewater for irrigation: A case in Punjab, Pakistan. In: Wastewater Re-use and Groundwater Quality, Sapporo, 1 July 2003.
- Simmons RW, Qadir M & Drecshel P (2010) Farm-based measures for reducing human & environmental health risks from chemical constituents in wastewater. In: Wastewater irrigation and health: assessing and mitigating risk in low-income countries. Drechsel P, Scott CA, Redwood M, Bahri A (ed.), Oxford, UK: Earthscan, p. 209-238, ed. First.
- Simmons RW & Rickson RJ (2008) Increasing rainfall and erosion.. In: Water and Food, Swedish Research Council (Formas), p. 89-96.