About the Soil Biology Group

The Soil Biology Group studies the role of the soil biota in ecosystem processes at a range of scales; from the life in a soil ped to the role of soil biota in climate change at global levels. Our mission is to use soil processes driven by soil biota to develop and maintain sustainable agro-ecosystems.

What do we do?

Sex below ground

Three earthworm species. Check out the time-lapse movie which shows the behaviour of three different earthworm species. A movie by Wim van Egmond and Jan Willem van Groenigen.

The Soil Biology group integrates knowledge on soil biota across a range of scales from the microbe to the globe. We have four core themes in which we complete our research:

  1. The role of soil biota in nutrient cycling to enhance plant soil interactions and associated ecosystem services;
  2. The richness and community composition of soil biota coupled with soil functions (nutrient provision, carbon management, pest and disease resilience and resistance, water regulation and purification) in (agro)ecosystems;
  3. How soil and land management can enhance soil health and the beneficial soil functions provided by soil biota;
  4. The effects of climate change on soil life, and the controls that soil life exerts on greenhouse gas emissions from the soil.

Where do we do our research?

In May 2018, our soil laboratories moved to new state-of-the-art facilities for soil biological and biochemical analyses. Our Soil Biology lab provides high quality services and training to our partners. We carry out a diverse of soil biochemical methods to assess soil quality. We also offer professional training to soil experts, researchers and to students. Our Soil Biology lab combines research facilities to run routine analysis for external clients with an interactive digital methodology to engage developmental research through PhD, MSc and funded projects.

How to join us?

Are you interested in collaborating with us? Our research encompasses a wide range of technologies and topics related to soil biology and soil quality. Our research also spans the globe with projects already established in Europe, South America, Africa and Asia. See our list of collaborations for more details.