SRC Photo Competition Winners 2015!

Congratulations to the winners of the annual Soil Research Centre Photo Competition! We had a fantastic range of entries this year, which you can view at the album here.

First Prize

Jackie Stroud: Earthworm in action!  Earthworm feeding at night on surface organic matter (crop residues)

First Prize - Jackie Stroud

First Prize – Jackie Stroud

Second Prize

Ian Davenport: In arid and semi-arid regions, cyanobacteria use light and water to grow filaments that bind soil particles together, forming a crust that helps to prevent erosion.  Photo from Diamantina, Australia.

Ian Davenport, Second Prize

Ian Davenport, Second Prize

Highly Commended

Rob Jackson: Banana plantation: Reading, Medellin and UMass Dartmouth student team sampling soil along a transect in a Colombian banana plantation to discover novel biocontrol bacteria

Rob Jackson, Highly Commended

Rob Jackson, Highly Commended

Erika Degani: Sampling earthworms at UoR Sonning Farm as part of a PhD project assessing the relationships between crop rotations, biodiversity and the provision of ecosystem services

Erika Degani, Highly Commended

Erika Degani, Highly Commended

Well done to all!

2014 Soil Photo Competition Winners

We are pleased to announce the winners of 2014 Photo Competition.

Standard of entries was very high this year.  Thank you to all who took part.

Happy World Soils Day!


First Prize: Oliver Crowley, PhD Student

Sampling for bulk density in the field where soils under three intensities of management were subjected to a summer drought event


Second Prize: Leanne Roche, PhD Student

This picture shows the typical soil type used for spring malting barley in the south east of Ireland. Limited nitrogen is allowed under the nitrates directive and it’s questionable whether it is enough to produce good yields with good quality grain.


Highly Commended: Mike Bell, PhD Student

Burying litter bags on Dartmoor as part of an experiment looking at the climate dependency of plant litter decomposition in blanket peat. There is concern that climate change could disrupt the small imbalance between net primary productivity and decomposition which has resulted in these systems slowly accumulating large stores of carbon over the last few millennia.


Highly Commended: Josh Giulianotti, MSc Student

The photo was taken during the field course trip to Devon Great Consols in Dartmoor National Park.
The photo shows the former arsenic and copper mine processing area, taken from the mine tailings.  Note the slow succession of plant growth due to extremely high soil arsenic concentrations.


Commended: Oliver Crowley, PhD Student

Soils from different intensity of land use were subjected to climate change scenarios for the UK in order to investigate functional stability to stress.


Commended: Dr Rob Jackson, Associate Professor

Don’t fall in: Sampling extremophiles from soil and water in an Icelandic geothermal pool.


Soil Research Centre Photo Competition 2013

The Soil Research Centre is pleased to announced the winners of the 2013 SRC Photo Competition:

First Prize

Photo Title: Cambisol with erosion gully due to improper management and an increased rainfall.  (Olive grove in Mediterranean area)

Author: Maria Luisa Fernandez  (PhD in Environmental Science)

Second Prize

Photo Title: Collecting soil samples for analysis of phytoliths, charcoal and stable carbon isotopes, to learn more about the environmental impact of pre-Colombian Amazon cultures.

Author: Dr Frank Mayle  (Reader in Ecosystems Ecology)


Highly Commended

Photo Title: Removing a soil block sample from an archaeological hearth in Iraqi Kurdistan for export to the University of Reading for microscopic analysis of stratified soil deposits.

Author: Sarah Elliott (PhD Archaeology)

Highly Commended 1

Photo Title: Soil sampling on a small-scale mining site in the Western Region of Ghana.  Taken on fieldwork which aims to look at the impact of mining on forest carbon stocks.  Some miners couldn’t understand why I wanted soil, but wasn’t interested in gold!

Author: Mark Hirons (PhD in Agriculture)

Highly Commended 2

The winning pictures are also on display at the SRC website:

Congratulations to the winners and thanks to everyone who participated!

SRC will soon invite submissions for the 2014 Photo Competition.