Emma Duley

Emma Duley


I have recently finished work as a researcher on the ReCon Soil project, which was a 2 year EU funded project focused on creating reconstructed soils from waste and promoting sustainable use of soil in the construction industry. My role combined conducting research into the impact of soil stockpiling on soil carbon and other soil health indicators, with education and outreach involving construction industry partners. This role left me with a keen interest for conducting research which can be applied to change industry practice, government policy or legislation.

Prior to this I completed an MSc in Ecological restoration where my thesis focused on evaluating soil eDNA as an effective method for biomonitoring across broad landscape scales, the results of which have since been published.

I am very interested in raising awareness, through research and outreach, to promote the value of our landscapes and protect, enhance and expand biodiverse habitats. I believe we need to support ecosystems to become resilient in the face of an ever changing climate, and in doing so they will also provide the solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change.

PhD title: "The Wetter the Better? Understanding wet woodland carbon dynamics in the Anthropocene"

Globally, peatlands are essential terrestrial carbon stores that can provide nature-based solutions for climate change mitigation. One of the least well- understood types of peatlands in the world are wet woodlands (peatlands with substantial tree cover). Wet woodlands were once a common habitat type across the UK, but after years of disturbance and destruction, only an estimated 50– 70,000 ha remain. Despite their scarcity, these ecosystems could be substantial, long-term carbon sinks due to their peat-forming characteristics. However, climate change and increasing development will determine whether these ecosystems become a source of carbon in the future. This project will use field and laboratory techniques to measure carbon dynamics at wet woodland sites in South West England, with the following aims: i) quantify contemporary carbon dynamics and fluxes, ii) determine past landscape dynamics using paleoenvironmental techniques, iii) link current and future carbon sequestration to ecohydrological variables (i.e., water table depth), and iv) make comparisons to other wetland ecosystems (e.g., tropical peatlands).