Dr Jill Edmondson
School of Biosciences
EPSRC Living with Environmental Change Fellow
+44 114 222 0065
Full contact details
School of Biosciences
Alfred Denny Building
- 2016-present EPSRC Living with Environmental Change Fellow
- 2015 – 2016 NERC Researcher Co-investigator
- 2008 – 2015 EPSRC Postdoctoral Research Associate
- 2003 – 2007 PhD, Manchester Metropolitan University
- 2001 – 2003 Marine GIS Officer - Countryside Council for Wales
- 2000 – 2002 MSc, Environmental Management for Conservation and Recreation, Sheffield Hallam University
- 1997 – 2000 BSc, Natural Environmental Science, University of Sheffield
- Research interests
My interdisciplinary research aims to address the challenge of improving the sustainability and resilience of ecosystems, with a focus on urban and agricultural systems. I have a particular interest in the interaction between soils, plants and the ecosystem services they provide to a growing global population.
My research addresses the current and future potential of urban horticulture to make a contribution to local and national food security. This includes growing at a household level in gardens and allotments and using controlled environment agricultural systems in grey infrastructure. I am also interested in the ecosystem service co-benefits of growing food, from soil quality to health and wellbeing. As part of this research I run a national-scale citizen science project called Measure Your Harvest (MYHarvest.org.uk), that works people to collect long-term home grown crop yield data. My research also addresses the bioavailability of urban soil pollutants to fruit and vegetable crops and potential risks to human health. I work closely with local authorities and NGOs to deliver this applied research.
Soil and vegetation carbon budgeting
I have developed methods for soil carbon budgeting in complex urban ecosystems in both greenspaces and beneath greyspaces. I am really interested in the role of black carbon in soil carbon storage and sequestration.
Understanding the urban forest
Trees have been demonstrated to contribute disproportionately to ecosystem service provision in cities and towns but we have less understanding of how the unique combination of pressures in the urban environment, e.g. pollution and encasement in greyspace, affect their health and resilience to future climate change. My research addresses both the role of urban trees in provision of ecosystem services e.g. heat island mitigation and carbon storage, and the effects of urban pressures on tree health and resilience at a species specific scale and the consequences for ecosystem service provision.
- Heavy metals and metalloids concentrations across UK urban horticultural soils and the factors influencing their bioavailability to food crops. Environmental Pollution.
- Opening the black box: Soil microcosm experiments reveal soot black carbon short-term oxidation and influence on soil organic carbon mineralisation. Science of The Total Environment, 149659-149659.
- An assessment of urban horticultural soil quality in the United Kingdom and its contribution to carbon storage. Science of The Total Environment, 777, 146199-146199.
- Assessing the direct resource requirements of urban horticulture in the United Kingdom : a citizen science approach. Sustainability, 13(5).
- Increasing city resilience through urban agriculture: challenges and solutions in the global north. Sustainability, 13(3). View this article in WRRO
- “My little piece of the planet”: the multiplicity of well-being benefits from allotment gardening. British Food Journal, ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print).
- Urban food cultivation in the United Kingdom: Quantifying loss of allotment land and identifying potential for restoration. Landscape and Urban Planning, 199, 103803-103803.
- Disparities between plant community responses to nitrogen deposition and critical loads in UK semi-natural habitats. Atmospheric Environment, 239, 117478-117478.
- Estimating food production in an urban landscape. Scientific Reports, 10(1). View this article in WRRO
- The hidden potential of urban horticulture. Nature Food, 1, 155-159. View this article in WRRO
- Feeding a city – Leicester as a case study of the importance of allotments for horticultural production in the UK. Science of The Total Environment, 705. View this article in WRRO
- How much heat can we grow in our cities? Modelling UK urban biofuel production potential. GCB Bioenergy. View this article in WRRO
- What is the most ecologically-meaningful metric of nitrogen deposition?. Environmental Pollution, 247, 319-331.
- The role of hedgerows in soil functioning within agricultural landscapes. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 273, 1-12. View this article in WRRO
- Grow your own food security? Integrating science and citizen science to estimate the contribution of own growing to UK food production. Plants, People, Plant. View this article in WRRO
- Soil surface temperatures reveal moderation of the urban heat island effect by trees and shrubs.. Scientific Reports, 6. View this article in WRRO
- Measurement and analysis of household carbon: The case of a UK city. Applied Energy, 164, 871-881.
- Modelling short-rotation coppice and tree planting for urban carbon management - a citywide analysis. Journal of Applied Ecology, 52(5), 1237-1245. View this article in WRRO
- Black Carbon Contribution to Organic Carbon Stocks in Urban Soil. Environmental Science & Technology, 49(14), 8339-8346. View this article in WRRO
- Soil and the city. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 13(5), 241-241.
- Urban cultivation in allotments maintains soil qualities adversely affected by conventional agriculture. Journal of Applied Ecology. View this article in WRRO
- Heather moorland vegetation and air pollution: A comparison and synthesis of three national gradient studies. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 225(7).
- Land-cover effects on soil organic carbon stocks in a European city.. Sci Total Environ, 472, 444-453. View this article in WRRO
- Urban tree effects on soil organic carbon.. PLoS One, 9(7), e101872. View this article in WRRO
- Identifying potential sources of variability between vegetation carbon storage estimates for urban areas.. Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987), 183, 133-142.
- Inferring nitrogen deposition from plant community composition. Ecological Indicators, 26, 1-4.
- The legacy of nitrogen pollution in heather moorlands: Ecosystem response to simulated decline in nitrogen deposition over seven years. Science of the Total Environment, 444, 138-144.
- Identifying potential sources of variability between vegetation carbon storage estimates for urban areas. Environmental Pollution, 183, 133-142.
- Managing urban ecosystems for goods and services. Journal of Applied Ecology.
- Organic carbon hidden in urban ecosystems.. Sci Rep, 2, 963. View this article in WRRO
- Are soils in urban ecosystems compacted? A citywide analysis.. Biol Lett, 7(5), 771-774.
- Mapping an urban ecosystem service: Quantifying above-ground carbon storage at a city-wide scale. Journal of Applied Ecology, 48(5), 1125-1134.
- Designing a carbon capture function into urban soils. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Urban Design and Planning, 164(2), 121-128.
- Mapping an urban ecosystem service: Quantifying above-ground carbon storage at a city-wide scale. Journal of Applied Ecology.
- Bio-indicators of nitrogen pollution in heather moorland.. Sci Total Environ, 408(24), 6202-6209.
- Evaluating the Potential Hydrological Performance of a Bioretention Media with 100% Recycled Waste Components. Water, 13(15), 2014-2014.
- Teaching activities
At level 1 I teach on APS124 (Ecosystems, Climate and Environmental Change). I give guest lectures in the Geography Department on GEO115 (Environmental Change and Society).
At level 2 I teach and co-ordinate APS277 (Careers for Biologists) that helps students explore the career paths open to biology graduates. I am developing a level 2 Urban Ecosystems fieldcourse starting in the 2021/2022 academic year.
At level 3 I teach and coordinate APS358 (Topics in Modern Ecology) which is designed to engage students with some of the big questions in modern ecology by studying recent literature. I also supervise level 3 dissertations in topics relating to urban ecology, land-use change and agricultural systems.
I have supervised MRes students on projects involving urban horticulture and urban ecosystem service provision.