Richard Bardgett is British ecologist and Professor of Ecology at The University of Manchester. He graduated from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1987 with a degree in Soil and Land Resource Science, and then moved to Lancaster University, where he gained his PhD in 1991. He then held posts at the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research and the Universities of Manchester and Lancaster, where he established the Soil and Ecosystem Ecology Group. Richard returned to The University of Manchester in 2013 where he is now Professor of Ecology. He served as President of the British Ecological Society from 2017-2019.
Over the last thirty years, Richard's research has led to mechanistic and conceptual advances in the area of plant-soil interactions, with a particular focus on understanding impacts of plants on soil microbial communities and feedback consequences for plant growth and ecosystem processes, especially carbon and nitrogen cycling. His research takes him to many parts of the world and is mostly focussed on grasslands. Richard has published over 350 scientific papers, inlcuding many highly cited works in leading journals such as Nature and Science, and has been repeatedly recognised as a Highly Cited Researcher in the field of ecology and environment since 2009. He has also authored and co-authored several books, including the award winning Biology of Soil (2005), Aboveground-Belowground Interactions (2010), and his recent book Earth Matters: How Soil Underpins Civilization (2016), all published by Oxford University Press.
Richard is Executive Editor of Journal of Ecology and a long-standing member of the Editorial Boards of Ecology Letters and Ecosystems. He was a Visiting Professor at the University of Innsbruck (2020) and Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (2011) and a Thinker in Residence for the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium, producing a report on Soils as Natural Capital (2021). He also served as Chair of BBSRC funding commmittees (2008-2018) and on serveral advisory boards, including Defra's Science Advisory Council (2021-present), BBSRC's Research Advisory Panel (2013-2018), Rothamsted Board or Directors (2009-2019), and the Scientific Advisory Board of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (2007-2018). He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2006, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology in 2011, and a member of Academia Europaea in 2015 in recognition of his contributions to soil ecology.
Richard has a long-standing commitment to promoting awarness of soil biodiversuty research. To this end, he was a founder member of the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative (GSBI), established in 2011 to create a global platform for the translation of expert knowledge on soil biodiversity into policy, and he contributed to the UN's Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils report The Status of the World's Soil Resources (2015) and the UK Governments Soil Health Enquiry (2016) and Climate Change Risk Assessment (2017). He was also a coordinating lead author of the UK's National Ecosystem Assessment (2011).
2021 - Defra's Science Advisory Council, Member
2017-2019 President British Ecological Society
2019 - Royal Flemish Adademy of Belgium, Thinker in Residence
2019 - Member Royal Society Newton International Fellowships Committee
2017 - Member Royal Society International Exchanges Committee
2014 - Member Royal Society Biological Sciences Grants Panel
2014 Member Leverhulme Trust's Research Leadership Awards Panel
2014 - Member CEH Science Development Group
2013 - Reader L'Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science Fellowships
2011-2014 Vice President British Ecological Society
2013-2018 Chair BBSRC Research Committee E
2013-2018 Member BBSRC Research Advisory Panel
2012-2013 NERC Soil Security Programme Lead
2010-2016 Member BBSRC Strategic Lola Committee and Appointments Board
2009-2019 Director, Rothamsted Board of Directors
2007-2019 Scientific Advisory Committee Netherlands Insititute for Ecology
2006-present Editor Journal of Ecology
2006-present Editorial Board Ecology Letters and Ecosystems
2020 ERC Advanced Grant
2020 Guest Professor University Innsbruck
2020 Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher
2019 Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher
2017 Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher
2015 Elected Member Academia Europaea
2015 Doctor Honoris Causa, Hasselt University, Belgium
2015 Thomas Rueters Highly Cited Research
2011 Visiting Professor Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne
2011 Elected Fellow Royal Society Biology (FRSB)
2009 ISI Highly Cited Researcher
2009 Visiting Researcher, NERC Centre for Population Biology, Silwood Park.
2006 Elected Fellow Royal Society New Zealand
2006 March Ecology Book of the Year Award, BES
2003 Erskine Fellow, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
1998 OECD Fellowship, Landcare Research, New Zealand
1995 Recipient BBSRC Science Communication Award
1992 George Stapleton Memorial Fellow, DSIRO, Upper Hutt, New Zeland
1986 Syndney Houre Collons Prize, University of Newcastle
Current and recently completed grants
ERC Advanced Grant (2021-2026) Diversity, stability and functioning of the soil microbiome (SoilResist). Total Euro 2.49 million
NERC (2020-2023) Cross-season legacy effects of climaet extremes on apline soil microbial communities. Total £667,743 (Pi with Co-I's Rob Griffiths, CEH, Michael Bahn, Innsbruck, and Michael Schloter, Munich)
NERC (2020-2023) Detecting degradation and restoration through a novel coupled sensor and machine learning framework. Total £998,911 ($487,108 to UoM; Co-I with PI's John Quinton, Lanacster and Jason Neff, Colorado).
NERC (2017-2020) SoIl microbial communities and biogeochemical CYcles in alpine ecosystems. Total £799,965 (PI with Co-I's Rob Griffiths, CEH, Michael Bahn, Innsbruck, and Michael Schloter, Munich)
BBSRC GCRF (2019-2021) Restoring African degraded landscapes with plant biodiversiuty and livestock management. Total £1,392,314 (£310,298 to UoM; Co-I with PI Mariana Rufino, Lancaster University)
BBSRC GCRF (2017-2019) Restoring soil function and resilience to degraded grasslands. Total £644,647 (PI with co-I's Nick Ostle and John Quinton, Lancaster)
NERC (2015-2018) Controls on the stability of soil and their functioning under land use and climate change. Total £1.6 million (PI with co-I's D Johnson, E Baggs, T Caruso, M Emmerson)
NERC (2016-2017) Controls on the stability of soil and their functioning capital equipment. Total £300k
NERC (2011-2016) Biodiversity and the provision of multiple ecosystem services in current and future lowland multifunctional landscapes. Total £554,000 (Soil component of NERC Wessex-BESS with James Bullock)
NERC (2017-2019) Resilience and regime shifts in peatland microbial communities. Total £340,000.
BBSRC (2011-2017) Linkages between plant functional diversity, soil biological communities and ecosystem services in agricultural grasslands. Total £1.45 million (PI with co-I's E Baggs, D. Johnson, N Ostle).
BBSRC (2014-2018) A plant-microbial framework for interrogating soil functioning. Total £41,868.
BBSRC Optimizing grazing management for climate mitigation. Total £94,126.