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Lottie Hawkins – University of Reading

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Lottie Hawkins

Scaling biochar in UK food production to help reach net zero by 2040

Biochar has been the subject of intensive academic research over the last ~10 years, but the majority of research on biochar has taken place overseas and has focused on the chemical and structural changes to soils that support the observed increases in crop yield. The academic interest has failed to result in large scale commercialisation of biochar in the UK because the evidence does not yet exist to support the decision of a UK farmer to adopt this novel biotechnology.

Because biochar is comprised almost entirely of carbon originally fixed from the atmosphere through photosynthesis, and is resistant to degradation, the application of biochar to soil sequesters carbon from the atmosphere. However, biochar, as a soil amendment, performs differently in different soil types, and this can vary even more depending on the type of biochar used. So it is important to investigate how different biochars respond in different soil types to aid widespread adoption


About Me: 

  • Passionate about sustainability, zero-carbon technologies & circular economy
  • Entrepreneur & Launch Manager with 4+ years experience in strategy, project management & leadership
  • Launched three award-winning companies with a combined valuation of over $40m
  • Mayor of London Better Futures Entrepreneur & Google Scholar

I am a Founder of Earthly Biochar , a biochar business focused on scaling biochar across the UK to sequester millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide whilst providing soil health benefits to farmers and gardeners. My undergraduate degree was in Molecular Biology at Newcastle University.

Research Interests:

  • Carbon sequestration
  • Biochar
  • Soil health

Research Groups:


   Lottie Hawkins


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 Dr Tom Sizmur (University of Reading)

Dr Yiogos Gadanakis (University of Reading)

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