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Olivia Azevedo, PhD studentship, University of Stirling (2019-2022)



Forests are crucial for biodiversity and also provide numerous ecosystem services that enhance human welfare. However, when studying forests, often the complexity of life belowground either goes unnoticed or it is studied in isolation from its aboveground component. Compartmentalising the above and belowground portions of terrestrial ecosystems diminishes our understanding of the ecological processes arising from the connectivity between these producer and decomposer subsystems. Ultimately, the missing links in above-belowground interactions are critical if we are to make predictions about the regulation of ecosystem processes and their response to change at regional and global scales, and recommendations for sustainable future woodland creation.

Research objectives

This PhD project aims to address the following objectives:

  • To establish the effect of woodland creation on soil function and ecosystem services in terms of soils’ biodiversity, stabilisation and carbon cycling, and the timescales required for the development of these processes.
  • To inform policy in the UK concerning woodland expansion and the implications for woodland creation targets, soil biodiversity, greenhouse gas mitigation measures and soil conservation.

Our Involvement

For more information regarding this project, contact PhD student Olivia Azevedo. Olivia is supervised by Professor Kirsty Park, Dr Elisa Fuentes-Montemayor and Dr Clare Wilson at the University of Stirling and the WrEN Project, and Dr Elena Vanguelova, Dr Frank Ashwood, Dr Sietse van der Linde and Dr Kevin Watts at Forest Research.

Olivia Azevedo

Olivia Azevedo, PhD student at University of Stirling and Forest Research

Funding & partners
  • University of Stirling
  • wren logo text 250WrEN Project
Soil sustainability
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Soil sustainability