Mary Hodgson

During my undergraduate degree, I was involved in a research project in Kenya, investigating the impact of nutrient poor soil on resource allocation to herbivory defence. This is where I became interested in the importance of soil in savanna ecosystems, ultimately leading to my pursuing of a PhD in savanna soil carbon.

Savannas occupy 20% of the Earth’s land surface and are critical for the livelihoods and wellbeing of over 1 billion people. Soils underpin the delivery and sustainability of the form and function of these environments. As important reservoirs of global biodiversity and carbon, savanna soils are under increasing pressure from human activity and over-exploitation. My research focusses on improving understanding of the individual and interactive effects of grazing, fire and climate change on savanna soil biology and resilience to future disturbance. Together these drivers have the capacity to significantly alter savanna biodiversity and biogeochemical function with implications for dependent human welfare and happiness.

I’m really looking forward to being a Team Communicator for Challenge 4 – How can we mitigate climate change through soil carbon management?

Twitter:  @maryjhodgson