Marios Stamatiou

Marios Stamatiou


I have a good knowledge of soil biological processes and the application of bio fertilisers comprising fungi and bacteria and their role in plant processes and specifically in improving the use of soil nutrients and water. I have a keen interest in statistics and using computer modelling to understand the underlying nature of the biology interaction of soils, microbes and plants. I look forward to learning more about soil and plant relationship using contemporary genetics, sampling and digital data analysis and statistics.

Before starting with the PhD position, I was working at PlantWorks and was responsible for trials design, sampling, processing, and analysis about plant treatments with Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF) and Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR).

In 2018 I completed a masters on Applied ecology and environmental management at CCCU with modules on the science and policy of the environment. The dissertation’s title was How do agricultural activities change soil chemical properties in banana fields in Kilimanjaro Rural District, Tanzania. Before the MSc, I completed my undergraduate degree at the same university on Ecology and Conservation, and the thesis for the degree was titled “Impact of agricultural management practices on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal diversity found in home gardens in Kilimanjaro rural district, Tanzania”

Marios Stamatiou

Agri-environments and Water

University of Essex, School of Life Sciences

PhD title: Managing living mulch (cover crops) to improve soil health (including nutrient cycling) and encourage natural enemies in orchard crops.

The use of living mulch in orchard fruit crops is receiving increasing attention. Living mulch has the potential to improve previous weed management significantly by incorporating conservation biocontrol (providing refuges for key natural enemies), carbon sequestration, microbial-driven nutrient cycling (carbon/nitrogen), and overall soil health. However, how to maximize the potential benefits of these cover crops while minimising the efforts required to manage them is not yet clear.

We will evaluate several candidate cover plant species in monoculture and mixtures in orchards, with specific emphasis on conservation biocontrol and soil health in terms of nutrient cycling, particularly the abundance and diversity of key microbial groups important to plant growth (e.g. microbial carbon/nitrogen transformations, plant growth promoting rhizobacteria, mycorrhizal fungi). In addition to laboratory research, a new apple orchard will be planted, specifically designed to study the use of candidate plant species as living mulch.

Further Information

Outreach for CCCU, volunteering with CCSU science society (events coordinator) , Dr Naomi Rintoul and Dr Rodrigo Vega.


MSc Student Tuition Fee-waiver (2018) – Tuition fee-waiver for the taught MSc in Applied Ecology and Environmental Management


Research Gate