Dr Ben SurridgeSenior Lecturer
Human activity has accelerated the movement of phosphorus, nitrogen and carbon through the Earth system by several hundred percent compared to natural or background conditions. Ben is a biogeochemist who is interested in the effects of these increased fluxes on water and soil ecosystems. His research also examines how future human demand for nutrient resources can be met, whilst at the same time minimising the environmental damage that follows inefficient nutrient use.
Ben’s most recent research focuses on developing and applying a novel stable isotope label to understand phosphorus biogeochemistry in natural ecosystems. This work involves measuring the stable oxygen isotope composition of phosphate, in order to provide new insights into the sources and the fate of phosphorus in the environment.
To read Ben’s paper that synthesises this emerging research field, click here. His latest research, involving collaboration with the British Geological Survey, has used the stable oxygen isotope composition of phosphate to trace phosphorus that is added to drinking water in the UK to prevent lead contamination. This work was recently published in Environmental Science and Technology, to access the paper click here and to read a press release related to this research click here.
Ben’s research has been funded by NERC, EPSRC, BBSRC, Defra, the UK water industry and private companies. His other current research projects include:
- A project under the BBSRC/NERC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Innovation Club (SARIC) programme. This project focusses on how to accurately measure plant-available phosphorus in soil, in order to increase crop yields and minimise nutrient export. The research involves combining diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) with handheld x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy to measure plant-available phosphorus. To read a press release covering the project, click here.
- A project under the NERC Resource Recovery from Waste programme. This research considers how to maximise the agronomic value of nutrients within biomass ash and anaerobic digestate that are by-products from energy production.
- The Policy, Practice and Management-Nutrients project, funded under the Sustainable Agriculture Innovation Network, that focusses on future scenarios for nutrient management in food production within China.
Ben’s teaching includes:
- Leading a third year undergraduate module on Water Resources Management, as part of the environment-focussed degrees within LEC.
- Teaching material on river restoration, as part of a third year undergraduate module on Issues in Conservation Biology.
- Leading a field-based Masters module on the science and management of soil and water resources in river catchments, as part of the Sustainable Water Management MSc within LEC.
Ben is the undergraduate admissions tutor for the Environmental Science, Earth and Environmental Science and Environmental Science and Technology degree programmes in LEC.
For a video providing an introduction to these programmes, click here.
For more information on these programmes, click here.
Knowledge, policy and practice for sustainable nutrient management and water resources protection in UK and Chinese agro-ecosystems
01/01/2014 → 31/01/2016
Algal Interactions with Freshwater Mussels in the River Ehen
22/03/2013 → 30/04/2018
Knowledge Policy and Practice for Sustainable Nutrient and Water Resources Protection in UK and Chinese Agro-Ecosystems
01/02/2013 → 31/03/2016
Implementing Component 2 of Demonstration Test Catchments
01/06/2012 → 30/09/2017
Diversity in Upland Rivers for Ecosystem Service Sustainability - DURESS
01/05/2012 → 30/06/2016
- Centre for Global Eco-innovation
- Environmental and Biogeochemistry
- Innovation for a better environment
- Sustainable Catchments
- Understanding a changing planet