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Research Facilities


> Sourhope
> Ecotron
> Stable Isotope Facility

Please note: This research Programme is no longer active


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The Ecotron is a unique controlled environment facility based at the NERC Centre for Population Biology, Imperial College at Silwood Park. It allows up to 16 individual, small (1m2) terrestrial ecosystems to be created under precisely controlled environmental conditions, with known flora and fauna, and standardised microbial assemblages. For more information about the Ecotron facility, please visit the Ecotron website.

As part of the Soil Biodiversity Programme the Ecotron Research Team created in the Ecotron, model analogues of Sourhope grassland. The role of different faunal groups - and their interactions  - in soil carbon and nitrogen fluxes were explored using controlled manipulations of the soil fauna. For more information, see Ecotron Soil Biodiversity Experiment

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The Ecotron Soil Biodiversity Experiment Research Team were:

Professors John Lawton and Charles Godfray, CPB, Silwood

Dr Hefin Jones Cardiff University and CPB, Silwood

Dr Mark Bradford Post-doctoral Researcher and Lead Experimenter (funded by Soil Biodiversity Grant) now at Duke University, North Carolina, USA

Dr Sebastian Catovsky, Post-doctural Research Associate

Till Eggers Graduate Research Officer

John Newington Research Technician and Collaborator Liaison (funded by Soil Biodiversity Grant)

George Tordoff Research Technician

Chris Denham, Mechanical Engineer

Dennis Wildman Electronics Engineer

Victoria Smith, Undergraduate Placement Student


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