Congratulations to Grantham Scholar Emanga Alobwede for her paper on algal species as soil improvers.
Published in 2019, this is Emanga’s first paper, and we’re very happy for her. We’re sure she’s going to do great work pioneering the use of algae in sustainability.
The paper is Circular economy fertilization: Testing micro and macro algal species as soil improvers and nutrient sources for crop production in greenhouse and field conditions.
It examines circular economy fertilisation, which is important to sustainability because circular economies can improve the sustainability of many systems. In this case, agriculture.
Nutrient losses from agricultural land to freshwater and marine environments contribute to eutrophication. And this can cause the growth of algal blooms.
However, the potential benefits of recycling this algal biomass back to agricultural land for soil quality and crop nutrition in a “circular-economy” has received little attention.
This paper tested the effects of algal additions to arable soil in greenhouse-grown garden peas, and field plots of spring wheat, on plant growth and nutrition and physical and chemical properties of the soil.
In 2021, Emanga appeared on the BBC Horizon: Feast to Save the Planet. The episode focused on the environmental impact of food. Emanga was on the show to explain how her research into algae has implications for our diet. For example, algae could help reduce our reliance on synthetic fertilisers and improve degraded soils. You can watch the episode on IPlayer.
The advantages of algae as biofertilisers in agriculture by Emanga Alobwede. In this blog, Emanga introduces the benefits to sustainability of using algal species as soil improvers in agriculture.
Synthetic ecology for algal cultivation by Emanga Alobwede. Emanga discusses synthetic ecology, which may be a more sustainable way to grow algae for biofuels.
Emanga is one of many soil researchers at the Grantham Centre. We have people from across disciplines looking at the many different aspects of this vital part of our world. Find out more: soil research at the Grantham Centre.