Emma Sayer

I’m a Lecturer in Ecology at the Lancaster Environment Centre and an ecosystem ecologist, which essentially means I’m interested in everything. I’m also a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and Honorary Fellow of The Open University.

My main focus is the role of plant-soil interactions in ecosystem responses to change. I use a range of techniques and combine field experiments with lab-work and observational studies.

When not doing research or other related activities, I spend a lot of time being creative and enjoying or obsessing over music.


ForestPrime is my main project until November 2017. I’m also working on a project within NERC’s Human-Modified Tropical Forests programme, investigating Biodiversity, ecosystem function and policy across a tropical forest modification gradient in Malaysian Borneo and I make occasional forays into grassland ecology to work at the Buxton Climate Change Impacts Laboratory.

Previous research projects include: The Importance of Litterfall in Tropical Forest Nutrient Cycling; The Release of Carbon by Priming Effects in Tropical Forest Soils (FP6 Marie-Curie Fellowship); Soil Microbial Diversity in Grasslands (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology).

Other activities

I’m dedicated to science communication and am part of the organising team for ‘Sex and Bugs and Rock ‘n Roll‘, which celebrates ecology at music festivals.


I’m Reviews Editor for Functional Ecology and Associate Editor for Ecology and Evolution; I also served as council member of the British Ecological Society (BES) from 2013-2016 and as assistant editor of the BES Bulletin (some of my articles can be viewed here). I’m currently the Lancaster University Management Board member for the Soils Training and Research Studentships (STARS) Centre for Doctoral Training.

 Follow Emma on Researchgate.

1 thought on “Emma Sayer

  1. Pingback: Writing Manuscripts: The Alternative ‘Guide to Authors’ | methods.blog

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