Contact Dr Robert Simmons

Areas of expertise

Background

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 activities

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.

Publications

Articles In Journals

Conference Papers

Books

  • 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.