MSc projects avaialble at Keele

Topics in terrestrial and aquatic water recycling

If you are interested in research related to terrestrial and aquatic water recycling, please get in touch for information about specific research topics or to discuss your own project ideas. 

ContactsDr Helen Glanville

nutrient cycling image A range of projects are available exploring largely invisible and complex microbial processes within terrestrial and aquatic systems across different land uses. These small-scale processes are not yet well represented at large, global scales. This is because they are hard to study not least because of their complex interactions with surrounding substrate and biota and importantly uncertainty regarding their role in ecosystem processes. Projects will focus on trying to understand the role of small scale processes to provide a more complete understanding of nutrient cycles. Some examples of projects include:

  • The importance of nutrient stoichiometry on microbial processing rates under extreme conditions i.e. droughts, floods, increased UV exposure, excessive low and high temperatures to identify critical thresholds limiting microbial functioning and in turn this influences nutrient cycling.
  • Assessing the importance of micronutrient availability in different systems, as most research focuses on macronutrient cycles, however, microbial communities may also be limited by micronutrient levels, but this remains poorly understood.
  • To identify if there is a critical nutrient balance necessary for microbial functioning beyond which microbial community composition shifts and cannot recover, which may help inform better land management practices.

Information on terrestrial and aquatic nutrient cycling provides important information relating to how natural system may respond to future challenges such as climate and land use changes. Candidates interested in the impact of climate change, water quality, environmental forensics and agricultural practices on terrestrial and aquatic nutrient cycling should contact Dr Helen Glanville to discuss project ideas prior to submitting an official application to the course.

For further information about our research, please visit the Research Centre for Geography, Geology and Environment website.


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