Contact Professor Jim Harris

Areas of expertise

Background

Jim's first degree was in Applied Biology at North East London Polytechnic, specialising in plant biochemistry. This was followed by his doctoral work in the microbiology of stored topsoil on opencast mine sites.

There has been a clear emphasis on the development and application of soil microbial measurement methodology. This work has been set in a broad theme of land restoration and reclamation, and land-use monitoring in general. It has covered everything from the practicalities of providing objective ecosystem measures of the success of restoration programmes, through the interaction of governance and science, setting conceptual frameworks for restoration ecology, to educational initiatives. 

 Jim was appointed Chair in Environmental Technology at Cranfield in January 2002.

Current activities

Professor Jim Harris' research is focused on microbial ecology and how the diversity of the microbiota and their spatio-temporal distribution affect ecosystem processes. He has applied this particularly in studying soil forming processes in disturbed landscapes and their role in organic matter dynamics; in the assessment and treatment of wastes such as landfill leachate and other wastewaters; restoration ecology and in the quantitative assessment of ecosystem goods and services.

This work has been funded by BBSRC, NERC and EPSRC, local and central government, and industry and has informed government policy, industrial practices and academic disciplines ranging from terrestrial ecology to engineered ecosystems in treatment processes.

Other research he is involved in focusses on how ecosystem principles can be used in managing modern society - from land restoration, through water treatment to the design of urban systems.

Clients

Clients include:

Research Councils

  • NERC
  • EPSRC
  • BBSRC

Industry

  • ACO ltd
  • SITA
  • Cleanaway Ltd
  • SunRISE
  • British Coal

Government

  • Defra
  • Environment Agency
  • Natural England
  • Foriegn and Commenwealth Office
  • Local Authorities

Others

  • European Union
  • Home Grown Cereals Authority
  • The Royal Society
  • Land Use Consultants

Publications

Articles In Journals

Conference Papers

  • Varga L & Harris J (2014) Adaptation and resilience of interdependent infrastructure systems: A complex systems perspective. In: International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure 2014, Vienna, 30 September 2014.
  • Bartlett MD, James IT, Harris JA & Ritz K (2009) Microbiological profiles of golf course soils. In: 11th International Turfgrass Research Conference, Santiago, Chile, 24 July 2009.
  • Bartlett MD, James IT, Harris JA & Ritz K (2008) The relationship between profile construction and casting behavior of earthworms in golf course soils. In: World Scientifc Congress on Golf., Arizona, 1 January 2008.
  • Creamer RE, Chamberlain PM, Black HIJ, Cameron CM, Campbell CD, Harris JA, Pawlett M, Poskitt J, Singh B, Ritz K & Wood C (2007) How does temporal variability influence the reliability of multiple substrate induced respiration as an indicator of soil quality?. In: Soils - fit for purpose ? - BSSS Annual Meeting 2007, 1 September 2007.
  • Black HIJ, Cameron CM, Campbell CD, Chamberlain PM, Creamer RE, Harris JA, Pawlett M, Poskitt J, Singh B, Ritz K & Wood C (2007) An ecosystem services approach to the selection of biological indicators of soil quality for national-scale soil monitoring. In: Soil Ecology - British Ecological Society Annual Meeting 2007, Glasgow, UK, 1 September 2007.
  • Chamberlain PC, Black HIJ, Cameron CM, Campbell CD, Creamer RE, Harris JA, Pawlett M, Poskitt J, Singh B, Ritz K & Wood C (2007) Can consistent temporal changes be detected in the diversity of soil invertebrates under different environmental pressures. In: Soils - fit for purpose ? : BSSS Annual Meeting 2007, 1 September 2007.
  • Bartlett MD, James IT, Harris JA, Ritz K & Cannon MHW (2007) Engineering soil profiles to reduce earthworm populations. In: Science, Technology and Research into Sport Surfaces (STARSS), Loughborough, UK, 17 September 2007.
  • Bartlett MD, Ritz K, Harris JA & James IT (2006) The ecology of earthworms on five UK golf courses. In: 18th World Congress of Soil Science, Philadelphia, USA, 1 January 2006.
  • Jeffery S, Harris JA, Rickson RJ & Ritz K (2006) Communities exposed: an investigation of the microbiology of arable soil surfaces. In: Integrating Microbial Knowledge into Human Life: 2nd Congress of European Microbiologists, Madrid, Spain, Madrid, Spain, 1 January 2006.
  • Jeffery S, Harris JA, Rickson RJ & Ritz K (2006) The microbiology of the extreme surface of arable soils. In: International Society for Microbial Ecology 11: The Hidden Powers - Microbial Communities in Action, Vienna, Austria, 1 January 2006.
  • Ritz K & Harris JA (2006) Morphological, molecular and mathematical methods to measure the munificence of soil biodiversity. In: Conservation of Soil Diversity under Global Change, Helsingýr, Denmark, 1 January 2006.
  • Deacon LJ, Crawford JW, Grinev D, Harris JA, Ritz K & Young IM (2006) Self-organisation in the soil:microbe complex. In: SET Annual Presentations by Younger Scientists, Engineers and Technologists, House of Commons, London, U.K., 1 January 2006.
  • Deacon LJ, Grinev D, Crawford JW, Harris JA, Ritz K & Young IM (2006) Three-dimensional quantification of microbially-induced genesis of soil architecture using X-ray tomography. In: International Society for Microbial Ecology 11: The Hidden Powers - Microbial Communities in Action, Vienna, Austria, 1 January 2006.
  • Allton KE, Ritz K & Harris JA (2006) Interactions between soil microbial communities, erodability and tillage practices. In: 18th World Congress of Soil Science, Philadelphia, USA, 1 January 2006.
  • Tyrrel SF, Seymour IL, Harris JA, Savage A & Smith R (2005) Biological treatment of compost liquor using waste-derived filter media. In: Sardinia 2005, Tenth International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium, Cagliari, 3 October 2005.
  • Allton KE, Ritz K & Harris JA (2005) Impact of tillage practices upon soil microbial communities. In: British Ecological Society Annual Meeting, Hatfield, U.K., 1 September 2005.
  • Bartlett MD, Ritz K, James IT & Harris JA (2005) Trends in anecic earthworm activity on five golf courses in England. In: British Ecological Society Annual Meeting, Hatfield, U.K., 1 September 2005.
  • Allton KE, Ritz K & Harris JA (2005) Interactions between soil microbial communities, tillage and environmental qualityicated. In: SET Annual Presentations by Younger Scientists, Engineers and TechnologistsR 1.1, House of Commons, London, U.K.2R, 1 January 2005.
  • Ritz K, Thompson TRE, Harris JA, Heaton M, Jordon D & Morton A (2004) Post-disturbance changes in archaeology: the potential pitfalls of PARIS. In: Institute of Field Archaeologiusts Annual Conference, Liverpool, U.K., 1 April 2004.
  • Ritz K, Harris JA, Young IM & Crawford JW (2004) Perspectives on the biological engine of the earth. In: Environmentally friendly agriculture and soil biodiversity: CONSIDER Workshop 3, Frick, Switzerland, 1 November 2004.
  • Jordan D, Heaton M, Ritz K, Thompson TRE, Harris JA & Morton A (2004) Focussing archaeological evaluations.. In: Institute of Field Archaeologists Annual Conference, Liverpool, U.K., 1 April 2004.
  • Harris JA (2003) Microbiological tools for monitoring and managing restoration progress. In: Land Reclamation: Extending the Boundaries : 7th International Conference of the International Affiliation of Land Reclamationists, Runcorn, 13 May 2003.
  • Harris JA & Steer J (2003) Modern methods for estimating soil microbial biomass and diversity: An integrated approach. In: The Utilization of Bioremediation to Reduce Soil Contamination: Problems and Solutions, NATO CCMS Symposium, Liblice, Czech Republic, 7 June 2003.
  • Ritz K, McHugh M & Harris JA (2003) Biological diversity and function in soils: contemporary perspectives and implications in relation to the formulation of effective indicators.. In: OECD Expert Meeting on Soil Erosion and Soil Biodiversity Indicators, Rome, Italy, 1 March 2003.
  • Harris JA & Ritz K (2003) Assessment of ecosystem health: detecting and interpreting soil microbial community responses. In: Monitoring in Polluted Environments for Integrated Water-Soil Management, Krakow, Poland., Kracow, 3 June 2003.
  • Walsh KA, Harris JA, Shaw PJ, Hill TCJ & Moffett BF (2001) Characterisation of the bacterial community associated with a surface flow constructed wetland treating landfill leachate using 16S rDNA analysis.. In: Proceedings of the 8th International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium., Sardinia, 1 July 2001.
  • Hill TCJ, Walsh KA, Shaw PJ, Harris JA & Moffett BF (2001) Quantification of N-transforming bacteria in passive leachate treatment systems by real-time PCR.. In: Proceedings of the 8th International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium., Sardinia, 7 July 2001.
  • Birch P, Bentham H & Harris JA (1991) Soil microbial ecosystems: Importance for the efeective restoration of mined lands. In: Reclamation 2000: Proceedings of the Conference, American Society of Surface Mining and Reclamation, USA, 1 July 1991.
  • Harris JA & Birch P (1990) The effects of heavy civil engineering and stockpiling on the soil microbial community.. In: Micro-organisms in Civil Engineering, Proceedings of the Conference, FEMS Symposium, UK, 1 July 1990.
  • Harris JA & Birch P (1990) Application of the principles of microbial ecology to the assessment of surface mine reclamation.. In: Proceedings of the 1990 Mining and Reclamation Conference. American Society of Surface Mining and Reclamation, West Virginia, J.Skousen, J.Sencindiver & D.Samuel (Eds), USA, 1 July 1990.

Books

  • Hallet LM, Standish, RJ, Hulvey KB, Gardener MR, Suding KN, Starzomski BM & Harris JA (2013) Towards a conceptual framework for novel ecosystems. In: Novel Ecosystems: Intervening in the New Ecological World Order. Hobbs RJ, Higgs ES, Hall CS (ed.), Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, p. 16-28.
  • Harris JA (2013) Do feedbacks from the soil biota secure novelty in ecosystems?. In: Novel Ecosystems: Intervening in the New Ecological World Order. Hobbs RJ, Higgs ES, Hall CS (ed.), Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, p. 124-126.
  • Mascaro J, Harris JA, Lach L, Thompson A, Perring MP, Richardson DM & Ellis EC (2013) Islands: Where Novelty is the Norm. In: Novel Ecosystems: Intervening in the New Ecological World Order. Hobbs RJ, Higgs ES, Hall CS (ed.), Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, p. 45-57.
  • Harris JA, Murphy SD, Nelson CR, Perring MP & Tognetti PM (2013) Characterizing novel ecosystems: Challenges for measurement. In: Novel Ecosystems: Intervening in the New Ecological World Order. Hobbs RJ, Higgs ES, Hall CS (ed.), Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, p. 192-204.
  • Harris JA (2013) Case study: do feedbacks from the soil biota secure novelty in ecosystems?. In: Novel Ecosystems: Intervening in the New Ecological World Order, p. 124-126, ed. 1.
  • Mascaro J, Harris JA, Lach L, Thompson A, Perring MP, Richardson DM & Ellis EC (2013) Origins of the novel ecosystems concept. In: Novel Ecosystems: Intervening in the New Ecological World Order, p. 45-57, ed. 1.
  • Harris JA & Van Diggelen R (2006) Ecological restoration as a project for global society. In: Restoration Ecology: The New Frontier, Blackwell Publishing, p. 3-15.
  • Harris JA, Grogan P & Hobbs R (2005) Restoration ecology and the role of soil biology. In: Biological Diversity and Function in Soils, Cambridge University Press, p. 319-342.
  • Ritz K, McHugh M & Harris JA (2004) Biological diversity and function in soils: contemporary perspectives and implications in relation to the formulation of effective indicators. In: Agricultural Soil Erosion and Soil Biodiversity: Developing Indicators for Policy Analyses, ed R. Francaviglia, OECD, Paris.
  • Morris SM, Hill TCJ & Harris JA (2003) Soil Microbial Communities. In: Biodiversity in Britainýs Planted Forests: Results from the Forestry Commissionýs Biodiversity Assessment Project, Forestry Commission, p. 31-40.