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