• PhD Environmental science (University of Manchester) - 2008-2012
  • MSc Soil sciences (Vietnamese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Vietnam) - 2005
  • BSc Agronomy (Hanoi University of Agriculture, Vietnam) - 1996

PhD project

Soil erosion in upland peat: an indication of carbon loss

Supervised by:

Research interests

Globally large amounts of carbon are stored in soils and peats and consequently they are widely considered as important carbon sinks. In the UK peat uplands account for 15% of the upland area (Martin & Jeff, 2005), with peat soils of over 1 m depth accounting for over 1.5 M ha (Lindsay & Immirzi, 1996). However, these uplands are currently affected by a changing climate and this may lead to these sinks becoming carbon sources in the future.

Soil erosion by water is a destructive process which destroys soil structure, and depletes and causes losses of soil organic matter (SOM). Research on the impact of erosion on an upland peat catchment is currently been carried out at eroded and non-eroded field sites in the Crowden Great Brook catchment near Manchester, UK. My project focus on characterising of two major carbon fluxes from the catchment: (1) respiration of organic matter to understand the contribution of CO2 and CH4 fluxes and (2) fluvial transport by soil erosion from the peat upland catchment.

Gas fluxes are constantly monitored at the field sites using Gasclams (Salamander Ltd) and fluvial transported SOM is collected by using mounted plates on the river bed and bulk water sampling on a regular basis. Peat collected at the field site is used in laboratory based respiration experiments, using incubation bottles, to monitor gas fluxes and change to the SOM under controlled conditions. SOM will be analysed by using a range of techniques, including (13C labelled) tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH)-enhanced thermochemolysis and Pyrolysis-Gas chromatography-Mass spectrometry (Py-GC-MS).