Gianni Micucci

University of Birmingham


Sustainable Management of Agricultural Soils: Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emission and Enhancing Natural Fertility


Dr. Sami Ullah & Dr. Stefan Krause

PhD Summary

My project is focusing on better and sustainable practices of agriculture. More precisely, I am trying to see if we can rely on natural techniques (use of plants from the Leguminosae family) to fertilize our soil rather than using synthetic nitrogen fertilizers. The use of such fertilizers require a heavy industrial process and a dangerous transport. But further than that, their application often results in Nitrogen-saturated soils, which leads (amongst other) to the emission of a very dangerous Greenhouse Gas, nitrous oxide (N2O).

What inspires you?

After a few industrial experiences, I felt the need to use my skills in something more meaningful. As the climate issue becomes of greater concern every day, I feel like my work here has a real value which is very rewarding on a personal point of view. Nature is truly inspiring and discovering it from a chemist point of view is fascinating. Besides, I get to do a lot of outdoor job, which is so much fun!

Previous Activity

Before PhD I was finishing a Master of Chemical Engineering, focusing on Polymers and Colloid System. This degree gave me the opportunity to be competent in lab chemistry techniques that I am using here, and also gave me the keys to understand soil science that I am now discovering during my PhD. Soil is a fascinating ecosystem resulting from the union between the organic and inorganic worlds and involves a lot of different types of chemistry.

Why did you choose Docotoral Research?

The Doctoral Research is the opportunity for me to learn so much and benefit from a lot of resources, as well as accessing a higher academic degree.

Why did you choose a CENTA Studentship?

First of all, CENTA offers a broad range of fascinating PhD subjects, with very pertinent problematics in regard of current global context. Secondly, CENTA offers the opportunity to get a lot of trainings, to benefit from a great network of talented and knowledgeable people, and to build a community of PhD students on which you can rely. Finally, a CENTA studentship is the guarantee to carry on your project in good conditions with the means necessary.

What are your future plans

PhD is always the first step in the research world, therefore I believe that this studentship will give me the opportunity to access a job of researcher. I wish to stay in the field of environmental science in the future.