Soil Scientist, Rothamsted Research
What happens when you add 30,000 earthworms to a soil? Rothamsted soil scientist, Dr Jackie Stroud (@wormscience), offers an accessible, inspiring perspective on soil management from her studies into soil health and crop quality for human nutrition. Her research is funded by a prestigious NERC Soil Security Fellowship and she has authored over 35-publications in soil science from her research in the UK and Australia. Her project ‘Ploughing on Regardless?’ enabled her restore earthworm populations and set-up the first zero tillage (conservation agriculture) experiments at Rothamsted, complementing ongoing conventional and min-till field trials into soil functioning. She has greatly benefited from support from the agricultural community who have donated soil samples for her research into soil health indicators. Previous research found that UK soils have low bioavailable selenium (essential micronutrient for humans), so she has grown selenium enriched wheat using fertilisers. Jackie will be talking about the benefits of soil health, how to look after soil health and biology, and how we can use soil data to produce crops to their full potential.