Eye in the sky for crop stress

Plants experience stress in response to changes in the environment including drought, heat, pests and diseases (see my blog post about plant stresses). When plants experience extreme stress it can be relatively easy to detect. Wilting can indicate drought and heat stress, yellowing of leaves can suggest nutrient deficiency, whilst browning of leaves can indicate … More Eye in the sky for crop stress

Hutton Symposium 2018

Working at the James Hutton Institute means there is a massive scope of research all around me! From hydrology just down the corridor, analytical sciences downstairs and social science two floors down, the range of expertise in one building is amazing (there’s even more at the Dundee site!). Once a year this expertise is brought together … More Hutton Symposium 2018

Smile for the camera!

As part of my PhD I have been looking at the activity of microbes in the soil using zymography – a really cool technique that I think deserves some extra focus… What is soil microbe enzyme activity? Soil is full of microbes (see my last blog post about the soil microbial community) carrying out a range … More Smile for the camera!

Poison or Protection?

Trace concentrations of metals such as nickel, cadmium and selenium are present in most soils. Plants require very low concentrations of many metals as micronutrients, but high concentrations can be toxic. High metal concentrations can occur naturally in some soils due to underlying geology or can occur through human activities such as mining, pesticide application and … More Poison or Protection?

Mighty soil microbes

Under our feet, there are an estimated one billion bacteria in every teaspoon of soil. Ecosystems on land and even in water with interconnected combinations of predators, prey, producers and consumers, but in soil all this happens at a microscopic scale. Soil microbes interact with each other as well as plants in many ways which are … More Mighty soil microbes