Research

Dr Richard Quilliam is senior lecturer in Environmental Biology, with research interests in agroecology & rural development, environmental pathogen ecology, water quality, conflicting ecosystem services, sustainable agriculture & aquaculture, and sustainable disease & waste management. His work adopts methods and theories from both the natural & social sciences and employs both qualitative & participatory approaches with a significant level of engagement with local communities. Previous research has combined molecular biology, microscopy and physiological & biochemical methods to answer agroecological and catchment scale questions that have been driven by the dynamics inherent to particular land-uses.


2016 – Senior Lecturer in Environmental Biology & Sustainable Development

2012-2016. Lecturer (University of Stirling)
2007-2012. Post-doctoral Research Associate (Bangor University)
2007 – PhD. Plant Physiology & Pathology (University of Sheffield)
2002 – BSc. Plant Biology (Bangor University)


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Much of my research is at the interface of agriculture and the environment and focuses on a number of sustainability and disease-related topics.  A central theme of my research is to understand how changes in agricultural practices and land-use, together with projected climate change, effect nutrient cycling & ecosystem functioning and increase the risk of exposure to pathogens. I have a strong research background in Environmental Pathogen Ecology, and water & soil pollution caused by the carriage, survival & cycling of zoonotic pathogens and enteric diseases through agro-ecosystems and aquatic environments. Much of my work is carried out in the context of sustainable agriculture and food & water security and is underpinned by a significant level of engagement with the local community and a wide range of stakeholders.

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Current research interests

  1. Approaches for using human faecal wastes for amending peri-urban agricultural soils, and as feedstock for rural anaerobic digestion systems
  2. “On-farm” seed priming as part of a sustainable & integrated disease management strategy for adoption by resource-poor farmers
  3. Insect larvae & waste management: adding value to sustainable insect production
  4. Survival dynamics of zoonoses in soil and water and the cycling of enteric zoonoses through agri-environments
  5. Nutrient cycling in the rhizosphere, and the role of soil microorganisms under projected climate change conditions
  6. Using indigenous knowledge to sustainably increase productivity of agricultural systems in resource poor environments
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