Monica Giona Bucci has just completed her PhD in the department of Soil Science at Lincoln University. Professor Peter Almond (Lincoln University), Dr. Pilar Villamor (GNS Science), Dr. Martitia Tuttle (Tuttle & Associates) and Dr. Carol Smith (Lincoln University) have supervised her research.
I come from Italy where I completed a Bachelor and Master degree in Earth and Environmental Sciences at “La Sapienza” University of Rome. During both my final dissertations I learnt the importance of studying pedology and GIS mapping and these skills were particularly useful during my PhD.
My PhD project was about studying the sedimentary architecture of two settings (alluvial and coastal) affected by liquefaction features triggered during the 2010-2011 Canterbury Earthquake Sequence. My PhD research was very interesting because it allowed me to learn different techniques for liquefaction investigations and to contribute in improving the understanding of the susceptibility to liquefaction across the Canterbury Region.
Here is a positive article about ground breaking research to investigate nitrate movement at depth and the role of microbes.
Science – Drilling Deep into Dirty Dairying, stuff.co.nz
How we talk about science is as important as the science itself. This research is ground-breaking stuff, positive and full of potential to provide ways of dealing with our nations environmental challenges. So why do we label articles like this with potentially misleading catch phrases? How has something so important been turned into click bait and tainted with, let’s hope, unconscious bias?
So, lets look at the exciting stuff – the science!
Dr. Gwen Grelet and Dr. David Whitehead are the lead researchers in this study, examining bacteria and fungi at depth in the soil. They will be trying to identify which parts of the microbes’ genes control the soil nitrogen processes – nitrification and denitrification, that may provide the key to keeping nitrate from reaching waterways and aquifers.
“The Landcare Research science team – in collaboration with Lincoln University, Plant & Food Research and Scion – believe they’re doing something no-one else in the science community has dared to do. Something big.
What sets this experiment apart is the size of the samples and the impressive-looking 10-tonne drilling rig. McMillan Drilling group designed a custom-made drilling head to plunge sterilised PVC pipes into stony Canterbury soils to a depth of 1.7 m. The samples extracted weigh about 100kg.” – stuff.co.nz
If you are interested in soils, want to get your hands dirty and get to know different soil types around the world you should get involved in soil judging!
I had the great opportunity of participating in the first New Zealand soil judging competition in Wanaka last year, as part of the New Zealand and Australia Soil Science Conference in Queenstown.
Not only did we have a great couple of days in the field, hands on learning about soils but we got to know fellow soil lovers, with participants from across NZ, Australia and America.
Comradery, companionship and competition! the perfect combination, all that and ‘expanding your horizons’ with great soils knowledge.
Check out Society of Soil Judgers on facebook!
Read more in our recent post ‘Learning by Doing’ by Dr Carol Smith about organising and running New Zealand’s first soil judging competition in December 2016!
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