Edward Tripp

Supervisors: Peter Crittenden & Markus Eichhorn

Research Interests

I am researching the diversity and sustainability of heathlands in the UK mainland.

Heathland habitats once extended to some several million hectares in Western Europe, but now their extent is limited to less than 350,000 ha. Not only is the total area of heathland being reduced, but the number of fragments is increasing due to afforestation, conversion to agriculture, and urban development. Heathland communities are also subject to perturbation due to atmospheric pollution, specifically nitrogen.

Information is required on species diversity in relation to heathland habitat size, soil fertility as affected by nitrogen pollution, and on sustainability under climate warming. My project intends to identify the local and regional determinants of heathland vegetation composition and the likely direction of future change. This will be achieved through a combination of field and laboratory experiments.

This project is part of the OPAL (Open Air Laboratories) project, which intends to create and inspire a new generation of nature-lovers by getting people of explore, study, enjoy and protect their local environment. The OPAL initiative is funded by the Big Lottery Fund.