PhD Intro – Camille Rousset

Camille Rousset is currently studying for an Honours degree in the field of Soil Science at Lincoln University. Prof. Tim Clough is supervising her research.

I grew up in a countryside in the southwest of France near Bordeaux named Bourg sur Gironde. My home is surrounded by the most famous type of Agriculture of the region, viticulture, on which it built its reputation and which results in the production of one of the best drink ever: wine.

My education career has always been oriented towards environmental and agronomy sciences; I completed my bachelor degree at Bordeaux University on biology of organisms and environment. After that, I did a master degree in Paris in Agroecology where I learned the different ways of designing production systems that rely on the functionalities offered by ecosystems. It was through those 2 years that I turned to the question of environmental effects of agriculture, thanks to lessons, professors, internships and all the people that I had the opportunity to meet.

Agroecology techniques and knowledge, is also a social movement and I want to be part of it. It is so exciting to see more and more farmers and scientists getting engaged to find solutions for an agricultural system that is more respectful of people and the environment.

Camille & Trial

Without being able to become a farmer at the moment (it may happen one day) and because I have always been attracted by the research community, I started research on SOIL, the “agriculture pillar”, without which agriculture would have been unthinkable. I am currently doing a PhD in N2O (greenhouse gas) emissions from arable soil, a subject that I started to deal with during a 6 month internship in Scotland at the James Hutton Institute. I will try through this 3 next years to find answers to mitigate N2O emissions by optimizing irrigation management. I am hoping, with farmers’ collaborations, to find fertilizer and irrigation strategies to limit the N2O emissions and find a tool that they can easily used to better control these inputs.

It’s going to be 3 exciting and intense years!!!

“Caring for the planet starts from the ground”

Keeping on the theme of todays World Soil Day, “Caring for the planet starts from the ground”. Are we actually caring for our soil?

There have been a few articles recently discussing this topic, both nationally and internationally, from the UK, USA and our productive soils around Auckland being lost to subdivisons? What do you think?

A continuing theme of articles:

Only 60 Years of Farming Left If Soil Degradation Continues – Scientific American

UK is 30-40 years away from ‘eradication of soil fertility’, warns Gove  – The Guardian, UK

Report adds fuel to soil protection calls – FarmersWeekly NZ

Lets keep the conversation going, grow soil awareness!

World Soil Day

Happy World Soil Day!

Today is World Soil Day. http://www.fao.org/world-soil-day/en/ with this year’s theme being “Caring for the planet starts from the ground”

“The Global Soil Partnership is dedicating World Soil Day 2017 to the theme “Caring for the Planet starts from the Ground“. Soil is a finite natural resource. On a human time-scale it is non-renewable. However, despite the essential role that soil plays in human livelihoods, there is a worldwide increase in degradation of soil resources due to inappropriate management practices, population pressure driving unsustainable intensification and inadequate governance over this essential resource.” – FAO 2017

To celebrate, here are some photos of Lincoln University Soil Students getting involved in soil science! Get your hands dirty and see what secrets your soils hold!

PhD Intro – Tihana Vujinovic

Tihana Vujinovic is currently studying for her PhD in the field of Soil Science at Lincoln University. Professor Timothy Clough, Dr Niklas Lehto, Dr Mike Beare and Dr Denis Curtin are supervising this research.

“I grew up in Croatia and completed my Master’s in Agricultural Sciences and Technologies at the University of Udine in Italy. Among a large list of topics in my area of interest and an apprentice in beekeeping, I’ve jumped into the field of soil chemistry and biochemistry with my BSc thesis, which aimed at characterizing humic fractions in leachates from soil under organic and conventional management and their interactions with the root zone. After a period spent at BOKU Vienna, where I’ve enlarged my interest in soil science, I’ve decided to pursue soil organic matter studies and work on the dynamics on nitrogen in humified fractions of agricultural soils through the use of stable isotopes for my Msc thesis.

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Currently I am all into my PhD project looking at the factors controlling dissolved organic matter formation and its role in carbon and nitrogen dynamics in agricultural soils. My study is trying to provide an insight into the mechanisms that affect DOM release and its microbial availability with respect to its physicochemical characteristics and its response to soil water content fluctuations or land management. It’s a challenging sphere where to sneak a peek.”