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Dr Sarah Duddigan


Soil Science
  • Researcher split between Department of Geography and Environmental Science and Department of Sustainable Land Management
  • Sessional lecturer in environmental science

Areas of interest

  • Rehabilitation of mine tailings
  • Natural farming techniques in India
  • Application of organic matter amendments and impacts on soil health.
  • Soil organic matter stabilisation and decomposition
  • Agriculture reversion to heathland - impacts on soil characteristics and function
  • Citizen science and community/stakeholder engagement


Sarah is currently working on a collaborative project between researchers and mining companies in the Philippines and the UK to discover new ways to manage metal mine wastes, to clean up pollution, and to make soils to support plant growth and allow the land to be reused. This work involves growth experiments, soil analysis, ecosystem service assessment and community stakeholder engagement.

Sarah also works on a research project investigating the efficacy of agricultural reversion of heathlands in Southern England, examining the impacts of artificially imposed pH gradients on soil biogeochemistry, floral and faunal communities.

Sarah also has projects based in the Department of Geography and Environmental Science including a Global Challenges Research Fund Project on Zero Budget Natural Farming in Andhra Pradesh, India. The project is examining the effects of different soil management techniques in the agricultural sector, and the effects of these techniques on soil biophysical properties. The research consists of 30 community led field experiments spread over 800 km.

Sarah was awarded her PhD by the Department of Geography and Environmental Science in 'The fate of carbon from soil amendments in horticultural systems' in collaboration with the Royal Horticultural Society. This included research into the mechanisms governing carbon stabilisation within the soil, and how organic amendments impact on soil chemical, physical and biological properties. As part of this PhD research, Sarah also founded and coordinated the Tea Bag Index-UK citizen science project, which worked with members of the public, in the UK, measuring decomposition rates in their gardens.