Hampshire Avon
Demonstration Test Catchment (DTC) Project

Hampshire Avon Demonstration Test Catchment (DTC) Project
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Dr Martin Blackwell

Dr Martin Blackwell is a Soil Scientist at Rothamsted Research’s North Wyke site. He has 16 years experience researching soil biogeochemistry, specializing in nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) dynamics in wetland and grassland systems, nutrient transfers from soils to surface waters and diffuse pollution mitigation methods.

His research includes investigations into the performance of buffer zones for the control of diffuse agricultural pollution for both N and P.

He has played a lead role in 6 major EU programmes including projects investigating the functioning of wetlands, the role of wetlands in the regulation of flooding and nutrient transfers from agricultural land to surface waters, and the development of wetland functional assessment procedures.

Studies into the cycling of nutrients in intertidal wetlands led to the development of unique ’tidal simulation chambers’ which allowed, for the first time, investigations into the effects of coastal managed realignment on denitrification and greenhouse gas production in estuaries.

More recently he has worked on BBSRC funded projects, investigating the effects of soil drying and rewetting cycles on nutrient dynamics in grassland systems, the role of the soil microbial biomass and the potential effects of predicted climate change on nutrient transfers from soils to surface waters.

Currently he is carrying out research into the role of organic P in soils and factors affecting its potential availability to plants and losses to surface waters. He is a lead author for the Freshwater and Wetlands chapter of the UK National Ecosystem Assessment and Associate Editor for the journal Grass and Forage Science.