Grassland, shrubland and savannah restoration
Soil is part of Earth's natural capital, where interactions between climate, geology, plants, organisms, water and humans control the supply of ecosystem goods and services, such as food, water and climate regulation, which make human life possible.
You can find out more about our restoration projects via the list below.
Our radioactive legacy
The UK has a substantial amount of radioactive waste and understanding how to store it safely in the long term is a big challenge. For quality, volume and impact, we are a UK leader in nuclear environment and waste research.
Researchers are looking at the behaviour of radioactive contaminants in engineered and natural environments, as understanding the behaviour of radioactive contaminants in soil and groundwater is essential in managing our radioactive legacy.
We host the Radioactive Waste Management Research Support Office (RWM RSO), a collaboration with The University of Sheffield working to harness UK university capabilities to help support radioactive waste management solutions.
Promoting good agricultural land management in Malawi
The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences is working with farmers in Malawi, some of the poorest in the world, to help share knowledge about plant and soil management through delivering free workshops and building a laboratory that will be the first of its kind in the country.
Malawi is ranked within the five poorest nations of the world and one of the least developed. Its agricultural sector accounts for a third of its GDP and approximately 80% of its overall exports. Agriculture clearly holds great potential for enhancing the social and economic development of communities in Malawi.
Sustainable agriculture through electronic engineering
The environmental impacts of intensive agriculture and a growing global population are increasing the need for more effective processes. Researchers in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering are examining how electronic engineering might improve food supply and sustainable energy production, without increased pressures on our land.
E-Agri Manchester aims to use e-devices for precision agriculture, reducing waste, increasing yields and making crops more resilient. This might involve using sensors that detect weeds, nutrient deficiency or low soil moisture. In support of this, we work across various projects including the N8 AgriFood programme, a research initiative of the eight most research-intensive universities in the north of England.
More than 60% of mega-herbivores are facing extinction as a result of range collapse, degradation of habitat and persecution. The highest diversity of mega-herbivore is found in African savannahs, making them a crucial ecosystem to study. The University of Manchester is working with Chester Zoo to help prevent the extinction of threatened species across the planet. The collaboration has seen more than £1.1 million invested across two major research areas.
The first focusing on improving the future outlook for some of Africa’s most endangered and emblematic mega herbivore species - such as highly threatened Eastern black rhinos and Grevy’s zebra. The second area will support research exploring new ways to effectively manage animal populations outside their natural range to maximise their conservation value and promote animal welfare.
Poor soil health
Soil degradation presents a major threat to food security and human wellbeing. Research that was first carried out on UK grasslands is being expanded to the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau and in Kenya to tackle this global emergency.
Solutions are being developed to restore grasslands, including, methods to rebuild the chemical, physical and biological properties of soil which will lead to enhanced resilience to future climate changes.