PhD Postgrad Intro – Sephrah Rayner

Sephrah Rayner – Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Soil Science

Sephrah Rayner is currently studying for her PhD in the field of Soil Science at Lincoln University. Professor Timothy Clough is supervising this research.

“I grew up in the Tasman Region of New Zealand, a childhood full of adventures into local national parks started my love for the New Zealand environment. High school was followed by 5 years of travel, work and study overseas which lead me to the conclusion that I wanted to study further and gave me the passion for soil science that lead me to Lincoln University. I came back to New Zealand, studied for my bachelor of science and honours in soil science. During my undergraduate degree and honours project I was further inspired to pursue soil science, dedicated and passionate lectures, tutors and technicians urging me on.

My current PhD project: “The potential for nitrate attenuation from the paddock to steam” is funded by Environment Southland and GNS Science.

This project will focus on understanding nitrate transfers and transformations from grazed pastures focusing on nitrate fluxes (magnitude and dynamics), and their attenuation in the landscape. A broad focus will be the integration of N budget understanding at relevant scales, including integration with MPI-funded nitrous oxide emission research. Recent global research suggests that attenuation due to denitrification occurs predominately in headwater catchments (≤1st order streams) and this will be evaluated with respect to New Zealand systems.

It is an exciting area of science to be in at the moment in New Zealand, combining soil science with water quality outcomes and environmental management and policy. There is so much going on with research in soil, plant and water science in New Zealand I hope to help inspire others to pursue a career in these areas, as well as contributing to both inter-disciplinary communication and bringing science to the general public in a way that makes it both understandable and interesting.”

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I am a Soil Science PhD student at Lincoln University, New Zealand.

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