Do some microbes exploit biocrusts?

Biocrusts are recognised for numerous beneficial functions in dryland environments including the promotion of surface stability, moisture retention, and sequestration of carbon and nitrogen from the air which enriches the soil. In microbial biocrusts these benefits are delivered as a consequence of the microbial community adaptations for survival. The biocrust …

Experimental data of bio self-healing concrete incubated in saturated natural soil

The provision of suitable incubation environments is vital for successful implementation of bio self-healing concrete (bio-concrete). We investigated the effect of soil incubation to examine if the self-healing process can be activated in comparison with the conventional incubation environment (water). The data was collected from laboratory-scale experiments conducted on mortar …

Microbiological self-healing of structural concrete underground incubation for geotechnical applications

Concrete is the most used construction material worldwide for infrastructure projects. Due to deterioration, regular maintenance works are necessary to seal the concrete cracks and restore durability. In Europe, infrastructures such as tunnels, bridges and earth retaining walls alone cost approximately 5 billion EUR per year. Self-healing strategies (particularly bacterial-based …

What do we want from Long-Term Ecology?

The University of Derby is currently evaluating the potential of its land in Buxton for long-term ecological experiments – extending and enhancing existing research. In this presentation we will introduce the field site and explain how an idea was developed into a proposal which appealed to a broad base of …

Analyses of taxon-clusters in replicated networks to assess alternative microbiomes in corals

Coral reefs face unprecedented declines in diversity and cover, a development attributed largely to climate-change-induced bleaching and subsequent disease outbreaks. Coral-associated microbiomes may strongly influence the fitness of their hosts and alter heat tolerance and disease susceptibility of coral colonies. Here, we describe a new coral disease found in Micronesia …

Wetlands in Drylands: Hidden Hotspots of Carbon Sequestration and Storage?

Although the term ‘wetlands in drylands’ sounds like a contradiction, many drylands host a range of ephemeral wetlands. Pans, for example, are widespread features in many drylands, representing topographic depressions of varying size and shape that host ephemeral, sometimes saline, bodies of shallow water following infrequent precipitation or river flooding …

Touch-free packaging for chicken

I was interviewed by BBC radio Derby to comment on new touch-free packaging for chicken being introduced by Sainsbury’s. In short I think it’s a good idea so long as it does not lead to extra plastic waste, but I also find it is normally possible to handle standard packages …