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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

UK: Research Project, Soil Science / Geography, Graduate Studentships Bedfordshire

Impact of compost application to arable soils on Nitrous Oxide (N20) emissions

Supported by the EPSRC, The Chadacre Agricultural Trust and The Morley Agricultural Foundation, a studentship up to £13,000 p.a. for 4 years plus fees* is available

Cranfield University is seeking a highly motivated graduate to undertake this exciting research project. The aim of the project is to investigate the difference in emissions of nitrous oxide (N20) associated with application of compost and manufactured fertilisers and elucidating the mechanisms that influence this process.

Nitrous oxide (N20) is a potent greenhouse gas which causes significant impact to the environment. N20 release is associated with agricultural activities as it is linked with application of manufactured fertilisers, livestock manures and crop residue. Compost and manufactured fertilisers differ in the way the nutrients are released into the soil. The nutrient release from manufactured fertilisers is generally more rapid than compost which is also related to easier loss via N20 emission.

The successful candidate will be involved in experimental setup on sites in Nottinghamshire and Norfolk that have received repeated application of green waste compost. N20 emission measurements will be taken at these two sites using the static chamber technique. In-situ measurement of nitrate, phosphate and potassium will be carried out using Teflon suction cup samplers.


The dynamics of nitrate are closely associated with release of N20 in addition to soil moisture, temperature, texture and organic matter. The proposed work will aim to determine potential build up of nutrient reservoirs in these sites and link it with reduction in N20 emissions. The build up of nutrients also associated with increase in organic matter will reduce the reliance of farmers on manufactured fertilisers, in the long run. The increase in organic matter will improve soil workability which will result in reduction in fuel cost for tillage. The applied compost will be used to the best advantage of farmers in terms of nutrient source, improved yield, increase in water holding capacity, improved soil workability whilst minimising environmental harm with a low nitrous oxide emission.

Entry Requirements:
Applicants should have at least a 2:1 UK honours degree, or equivalent, in a relevant discipline such as soil science, chemistry, biology or geography. Some experience in modelling N20 dynamics would be desirable.

Funding
*Supported by the EPSRC, The Chadacre Agricultural Trust and The Morley Agricultural Foundation this studentship will cover the tuition fees at the UK/EU rate only and provide a bursary of up to £13,000 p.a. for four plus fees* years dependent upon qualifications and experience.

How to apply:

Please submit a CV and complete the application form at: www.cranfield.ac.uk/prospectus/app/pgappform.pdf

Contact Email: appliedsciences(AT)cranfield.ac.uk

Application Deadline: 30 September, 2009

Alternatively, for more information and an application form please contact:
School of Applied Sciences
T: 44 (0)1234 754086


Please kindly mention Scholarization.blogspot.com when applying for this scholarship


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Scholarship Team: Ph.D Scholar Krisstofferson Joniel Scholarship Adviser, PhD Scholar Chea Vitom Scholarship Adviser and Senior Lecturer, PhD Scholar Rebecca T. Dalisay Scholarship Adviser, Ph.D Student Jiao Wang Scholarship Coordinator, MSc Student Dennise Maricel Scholarship Coordinator