Soils Lab

Andy Nottingham

Andy Nottingham

Andy Nottingham

Tropical forests store and cycle huge quantities of carbon, but there remains little understanding of the dynamics of carbon transfer from above to below-ground. I am interested in the microbial control of soil carbon cycling the minute interactions between plants and soil microbes that influence entire ecosystem functioning. It is especially important to understand the capacity of soils to act as a sink or source of carbon under global climate change.

I am studying for a PhD in tropical ecology at The University of Cambridge with Dr. Edmund Tanner, and conducting experiments at The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in collaboration with Dr. Ben Turner. In brief, my PhD research encompasses studies on seasonal changes in heterotrophic vs. autotrophic components of tropical forest soil respiration, the role of arbuscular mychorrhizal fungi (AMF) in soil carbon cycling and the microbial control of soil carbon decomposition (‘priming effects’). Key techniques I am applying to this work are CO2 flux partitioning using isotopic tracers and, in collaboration with Dr. Paul Chamberlain (CEH Lancaster), microbial community profiling using phospholipid fatty acid biomarkers.

Academic Record

2005 – 2008 PhD Tropical Ecology, University of Cambridge, U.K.
2003 – 2004 MRes Environmental Biology, University of St. Andrews, U.K.
1998 – 2001 BSc Physics and Environmental Systems (Joint 1st Honours), Nottingham Trent University, U.K.


Nottingham, A., B. Turner, P. Chamberlain, A. Stott, and E. Tanner. 2012. Priming and microbial nutrient limitation in lowland tropical forest soils of contrasting fertility. Biogeochemistry:1-19. DOI: 10.1007/s10533-011-9637-4.

Nottingham, A. T., B. L. Turner, K. Winter, M. G. A. van der Heijden, and E. V. J. Tanner. 2010. Arbuscular mycorrhizal mycelial respiration in a moist tropical forest. New Phytol. 186:957-967. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2010.03226.x.

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