Science on Tap outreach event

A brilliant public outreach event called “Science on Tap” was hosted by Chinese Academy of Science, Institute of Soil Science, in the stunning location of Taicheng Library, inside the Old City Walls, in Nanjing, China on the 24th April 2018. Science on Tap is a China-wide campaign led by UK Research and Innovation, showcasing excellence in collaborative research between China and the UK. This Science on Tap event was titled “The Critical Zone, the Earth’s sensitive skin: How human activity is transforming our soil, water and air.” The aim of the event was to communicate the idea of the Earth…

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Researcher exchange report between Aberdeen, UK and Hohai, China.

In 2016 and again this year I spent 5 months working at Hohai University. During these periods I mainly worked with Professor Xi Chen, the Chinese leader of our CZO project, (Project 1, Karst). We used a catchment scale conceptual model of water and solute transport in the dual flow system of the karst critical zone and the results have published in Hydrological Processes. After many discussions with Xi’s group, we have successfully coupled the hydrological processes with C and N in the model. I am now running the model. I also worked with other researchers in the Chinese group….

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Knowledge Exchange in China

Alongside the 5 main projects there have been a number of supplementary awards granted. One of these is the Knowledge Exchange research package that is within the China-UK Karst CZ project.  It aims at understanding the current Knowledge Exchange (KE) practices in China and improving science effectiveness. A large of amount of progress has been made to date. Firstly a broad scale analysis about what type of KE delivery exists in China was conducted. The understanding from this analysis is now written as an academic paper ready for submission. This was followed by surveys and interviews to collect data about…

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Red Soil Chinese Researchers Visit Aberdeen

Researchers from the Chinese institutes cooperating on the Red Soil CZO project travelled to Scotland to discuss progress and plan the next stage of the project. As part of the meeting the team took a look at a couple of Aberdeenshire’s diverse soils. The selection included a tropical soil at Bennachie (pictured) which made for an interesting comparison with the Chinese Red Soils central to the project. The visitors from Nanjing, including the Chinese PI Ganlin, Zhang enjoyed Scotland’s culinary curiosities whilst we discussed ways to integrate modelling and data collection efforts. The meeting provided an excellent opportunity to strengthen…

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Programme Visits and Exchanges

As part of the ODA compliance of the projects (click here for more information) knowledge exchange activities are taking place across the programme. These include the exchanging  and training of scientists in the UK and China. This will be achieved through multiple types of project and programme meetings and both short and long term exchanges. The new knowledge gained will increase the skill and knowledge base of those involved. So far 12 personnel exchanges have occurred varying from 1 week to 1 year in length. They have involved 1 MSc student, 8 PhD students and 3 Early Career Researchers. 7 exchanges…

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Programmes Official Development Assistance (ODA) Aims

Alongside the scientific research the UK- China Critical Zone Observatory programme aims to achieve environmental and social sustainability developments. They plan to do this through improved management of the local soil and water resources. The resulting progression in knowledge and understanding of the eco-systems from the planned research will benefit China but equally are relevant for UK and other regions worldwide. Part of the funding for the programme comes from the UK Newton Fund. Newton Fund activities need to demonstrate that they are aiming to contribute to a reduction in poverty, and aim to further sustainable development (development that is likely…

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Annual report from the Loess Project

At the Annual UK – China CZO programme meeting in Guiyang the Loess project presented an update of how work was going to that point in time, 18 months into the project. The bullet points below summaries this presentation. Modelling and Managing Critical Zone Relationships between Soil, Water and Ecosystem Processes across the Loess Plateau– Prof Lianhai Wu and Prof Ming’an Shao Recent landscape changes in the Critical Zone of Loess Plateau region Vegetation coverage 2000 – 2014 has been studied; it shows mainly moderate vegetation cover with increase from Northwest to Southeast. Temporal trends in vegetation cover change –…

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Annual report from the Peri-Urban Project

At the Annual UK – China CZO programme meeting in Guiyang the Peri-urban project presented an update of how work was going with in each work package to that point in time, 18 months into the project. The bullet points below summaries this presentation. Using Critical Zone Science to Enhance Soil Fertility and Improve Ecosystem Services for Peri-Urban agriculture in China – Prof Steven Banwart and Prof Yongguan Zhu Work Package 1: Field mesocosm experiments have been set up to test the effects on wheat and vegetable production on 1) 100% chemical fertiliser, 2) 100% sewage sludge, 3) 100% pig…

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Annual report from the Karst Project

At the Annual UK – China CZO programme meeting in Guiyang the SPECTRA project presented an update of how work was going with in each work package to that point in time, 18 months into the project. The bullet points below summaries this presentation. The Transmissive Critical Zone: Understanding the Karst Hydrology-biogeochemical Interface for Sustainable Management – Prof Susan Waldron and Prof Xi Chen Over the last 1.5 years a Critical Zone Observatory at the Houzhai catchment has been developed. The Karst Critical Zone architecture is being refined with the additional added value collaboration with Lancaster University. Work Package 1…

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Annual report from the Red Soil Project

At the Annual UK – China CZO programme meeting in Guiyang, China in June 2017 the Red Soil project presented an update of how work was going to that point in time, 18 months into the project. The bullet points below summaries this presentation. Red Soil CZ: From Natural to Anthropogenic Evolution of Red Soil and its Impact on Ecosystem Function in the Critical Zone– Prof Paul Hallett and Prof Ganlin Zhang Morphological, biogeochemical and biological indicators have characterized the structure of the Red Soil CZ. Land cover and management have a large influence on soil processes and evolution. Large…

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