Dr Alona ArmstrongLecturer in Energy and Environmental Sciences
Alona is a terrestrial carbon cycling scientist, working at the interface of biochemistry, hydrology and ecology. Predominantly a field scientist, but is also seen in the laboratory and sat behind a desk doing some modelling. Her research spans from furthering understanding of the controls on soil erosion and terrestrial carbon cycling to the effects of land management. More recently, Alona has focused on the effects of hosting land-based renewables on terrestrial carbon cycling.
One of Alona’s current projects examines the effects of wind turbines on the microclimate and the implications for peatland carbon cycling. Since spending many days getting cold and wet on a peat bog, her new focus has shifted to the sunnier climes of solar parks. Within this research she is establishing the microclimatic effects of solar arrays and the subsequent changes in soil conditions and carbon cycling, including the potential to double crop food and energy. This research takes a positive approach – how can we deploy renewables in our landscape for maximum benefit?
You can read her opinion paper on the affect of terrestrial renewables on the microclimate and carbon cycling here, her paper on the affects of wind farms on the microclimate here and finally her paper on the affect of solar parks on grasslands here (all free to download). The website for her NERC Solar Park Impacts on Ecosystem Services (SPIES) innovation project is here and a short animation can be found here.
She’s also written a piece on the concept behind some of her research for The Guardian Sustainable Business section, which can be found here, her research has been featured on the BBC news website, here, and was included in the European Commission Science for Environment Policy newsletter, here.
Alona is a member of Energy Lancaster, and the Plant, Soil and Land Systems research group.
Alona is LEC's policy interaction officer. Within this role she is working to increase the dissemination of LEC research into policy, primarily through the House of Commons.
Alona supervises undergraduate and masters dissertation students and is running two undergraduate modules with an energy focus:
Solar Park Impacts on Ecosystem services : a Framework for Best Practice (SPIES)
01/01/2016 → 30/06/2017
Dual Land-Use for Solar Energy and Food Production
01/10/2013 → 30/09/2016
LPIA: Developing collaborations to facilitate the optimal deployment of terrestrial solar farms
01/07/2013 → 30/06/2014
ECSG: The effect of direct and diffusion radiation on carbon cycling and plant productivity
01/05/2012 → 30/09/2014
Establishing the impact of vegetation on DOC concentrations in the context of peatland management and the mechanisms responsible
20/03/2010 → 18/04/2010
- Energy Lancaster
- Improving global stewardship
- Innovation for a better environment
- Soil Plant and Land Systems
- Understanding a changing planet