Areas of expertise


Dr Mercer (BSc, MSc, PhD, PgDip) is trained as an environmental scientist. Her research interests span the environmental science spectrum with particular emphasis on environmental geochemistry, soil science, waste management and pollution issues. She completed her BSc in Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia (2003) followed by an MSc in Environmental Management (2004). She then moved to the University of Hull for her doctoral studies, undertaking a PhD in Physical Geography working with Professor Lynne Frostick. This work investigated the environmental impacts of a hazardous wood waste stream when applied to soil (UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council funded, 2010). 
In 2010 Theresa obtained a position as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Hull working on a key book about hydraulic experimentation in environmental modelling. She then moved to a position in the Centre for Adaptive Science and Sustainability working on a sustainable energy project within the microfluidics research group, testing novel photocatalysts. This was followed by a period as an Academic Tutor at the School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management and the School of Biological Science, University of Queensland, Australia. Prior to her position at Cranfield, Theresa was a Lecturer in Environmental Science in the School of Physical and Geographical Sciences at Keele University. 
  • Honorary Research Associate, Department of Chemistry, University of Hull, UK 
  • Affiliate of Sustainable Places Research Institute, Cardiff University, UK 
  • Member of the Institute of Environmental Science 
  • Member of the British Society of Soil Science
  • Member of the International Research Group on Wood Protection.

Current activities

Dr Mercer is currently involved on a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) project with the Universities of Sheffield and Exeter. The project involves characterising the biodiversity-ecosystem service relationships in urban ecosystems as well as determining the influence of connectivity, flows and resilience. This project forms part of a larger NERC project on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Sustainability (

Dr Mercer’s role in the project is to characterise the soil microbial diversity and ecosystem services and flows with regards to carbon capture and storage, decomposition, run-off reduction and climate regulation. The trans-disciplinary approach to this project will result in a model of biodiversity and ecosystem service relationships that can be used to inform future urban management and policy of green spaces in urban areas.


  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
  • Central Bedfordshire Council 
  • The Parks Trust, Milton Keynes 
  • Bedford Borough Council 
  • Luton Borough Council 
  • British Trust of Ornithology 
  • Bedfordshire/Cambridgeshire/Northamptonshire Wildlife Trusts 
  • Bedfordshire and Luton Green Infrastructure Consortium.


Articles In Journals