• Waring Ecology Lab

    Plant, microbial, and ecosystem ecology

  • About the Lab

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    Climate change is caused by an imbalance in the global carbon cycle - human activity has increased the concentration of carbon in the atmosphere. To predict and mitigate the effects of climate change, we need to understand how carbon flows between the atmosphere and its two other major reservoirs on land: plants and soils. The Waring Ecology Lab at Imperial College London investigates how the ecology of plant and soil microbial communities influences the carbon cycle and its feedbacks on climate change. We also explore ways to maximise the capacity of ecosystems - especially forests - to absorb greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Read more about our research and the people involved in these efforts!

  • Lab News

    May 2024

    HUGE congratulations to Jessica Murray and Sam Willard, both of whom successfully defended their PhDs in the last month. We will miss you, but know you are going on to do more spectacular research!

    19 October 2023

    The lab is grateful to acknowledge support from The Michael Uren Foundation for a new project examining sustainable intensification of agriculture through soil microbiome manipulation. We are also delighted to welcome PhD student Alice Day, who will be working on related projects!

    September 8 2023

    Jessica was featured on NPR's Science Friday talking about her research on canopy soils!

    June 2023

    The Waring Lab has had an exciting summer thus far! Anna and Lena attended the BES symposium on 'Trees for Climate Change Biodiversity, and People.' Gregory conducted his first enhanced weathering measurements after addition of tonnes of rock dust to our field site in Wales. Bonnie visited the team on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in Alaska to help with gas flux measurements!

    Fall 2022

    The Waring Ecology Lab welcomes new PhD student Gregory Jones, who is joining our group to explore whether enhanced rock weathering can augment forest carbon capture in reforestation. 

    September 12 2022

    Congratulations to the graduating Masters students who conducted research in the Waring Lab this past year - Nick Eves, Alex Guo, Lucia Hudson, and Gregory Jones!

    April 12 2022

    The Waring Lab has received a NERC grant to investigate belowground consequences of extreme weather events - in this case, Storms Eunice and Franklin which caused large scale tree mortality across the UK. 

    December 1 2021

    Congratulations to Dr. Guopeng Liang, who successfully defended his dissertation!

    September 13-15 2021

    Congratulations to a wonderful cohort of Masters students in the Waring lab at Imperial who are defending their dissertations: Yundi Bai, Beth Brand, Naomi Housego-Day, Xiaojing Huang, Lydia Joshua, Wang Ye, Saule Ziogelyte. Amazing work by an amazing team!

    September 7 2021

    Bonnie provided evidence at a House of Lords panel on nature-based solutions to climate change, which you can view here.

    September 4 2021

    Guopeng's first PhD chapter is now out at Global Ecology and Biogeography. Congratulations Guopeng! 

    Summer 2021

    The lab welcomes our new technician, Lena Lancastle, and two new PhD students, Lucrezia Slinn and Anna Gee.

    April 23 2021

    This article in The Conversation explores why forests are critical for human wellbeing, even though they won't solve the climate crisis alone

    November 18 2020

    Bonnie did a Reddit AMA exploring the co-benefits and risks of large-scale tree planting to mitigate climate change

    July 3 2020

    Bonnie will be discussing the role of trees in fighting climate change in a panel at London Climate Action Week - register here!

    June 1 2020

    The Waring Ecology Lab has moved to its new home at Imperial College London! We are thrilled to be a part of this vibrant research community.

  • Where we work

    The Waring lab travels all over the world to study the soil carbon cycle and its feedbacks to global change. Our current projects span the tundra to the tropics... check out our site photos below!

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    Lab alumna Karen Foley examined controls on greenhouse gas production by soil microbes in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, AK. This work continues in collaboration with an NSF-funded project led by Professor Trisha Atwood at USU.

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    A view from one of Jess's study trees in Monteverde, Costa Rica, where she is researching carbon cycling in canopy soils

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    Sam is examining how nitrogen deposition shapes biogeochemistry in forests across the United Kingdom (photo credit: Saule Ziogelyte)

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    Anna is investigating the processes that drive natural regeneration in tropical dry forests across land use gradients (left: a forest regrowing after agricultural abandonment; right: a young tree plantation)

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    Luki is studying carbon sequestration in UK agricultural soils, comparing and contrasting different management practices