Sarah Dunham

External partner

Laboratory manager, field sites

A photo of Sarah Dunham
Profile

Sarah has worked at Rothamsted Research for 30+ years and currently manages the laboratories in the Soil Quality and Nutrition Team.

Key research interests are soil nutrients and pollutants and their availability to plants. Her expertise includes running pot and hydroponic experiments; soil, crop and water sampling methods in the glasshouse and field; and soil and crop sample preparation for analysis. She is also skilled in various chemical, physical and biological analytical techniques of plant, water and soil samples, and in advanced techniques for ultra-trace chemical analysis of soil, water and plants. 

She was involved setting up a spectrometry laboratory for the rapid analysis of agricultural material without the need for time consuming and expensive wet digestion and analysis. One of the goals was to produce a scientifically sound new paradigm for predicting nutrients availability from rapidly measured soil spectral information. The instrumentation includes Tensor II-FT-IR Spectrometer; MIR Alpha, a compact FT-IR spectrometer that can be used anywhere for routine spectral analysis, including in the field; Tracer 5i , a XRF Spectrometer for elemental analysis of soils, plant materials, manures and fertilisers, in the lab or field; XRD D2 phaser, an x-ray diffraction phase analyser for measuring the types of minerals and clays present in soils; and Laser PSA LA 960, a laser particle size analyser.