Link to Macaulay Land Use Research Institute homepagePeatland Microbiology

Welcome to the Peatland Microbiology Group website!

Blanket bog at Forsinard (Flowe Country, Sutherland, Scotland), one of our current study sites of effects of drain blocking on soil microbial diversity and functions (photo courtesy of Dr. Martin Sommerkorn).

Our research group works on a variety of projects that investigate the ecology and ecosystem functions of microbiota in peatland ecosystems. Our work includes research on restoration of heavily degraded ombrotrophic peatlands as well as studying the effects of anthropogenic activities such as climate change and increased N deposition on carbon cycling in peatland ecosystems. We have access to a wide variety of interesting field sites, a fully equipped molecular biology laboratory, excellent growth room and stable isotope facilities.

We welcome visiting researcher and occasionally have vacancies for fully funded PhD students. Details may be found on our jobs page, or please enquire by email for any future opportunities.


Current research projects:



A Sphagnum hummock at Silver Flowe National Nature Reserve. The site was affected by a wild fire in April 2007. We are carrying out analysis on the effects of burning on the microbial communities of peatlands. (Photo: Andy Baird).

Current group members:

Past members:

  • Dr. Frank Verheijen (visiting Post-doc, Queen Mary London). 2007-2008.
  • Dr. Clare Trinder (Joint PhD student with the University of Aberdeen, 2004-2007). Clare has now moved on to a postdoctoral position at the University of Aberdeen.
  • Dr. Hannah Toberman (Joint PhD student with CEH Bangor and the University of Wales, Bangor, 2004-2007). Hannah now works at the University of Bangor
  • Dr. Hung Nguyen-Viet (ESF Exchange visiting research fellow, 2007)
  • Weigang Yan (MSc student) 2007
  • Mukunda Phuyal (MSc student) 2007
  • Rosnida Tajuddin (MSc student) 2008





Updated: 15 Jun 2016, Content by: RA