Prof Karl Ritz

Prof Karl Ritz

2021

Coming from a farming background, I graduated with BSc (Hons) in Agricultural Botany at the University of Reading in 1981, followed by a PhD in grassland ecology at University of Bristol, then led research programmes in government institutes in Aberdeen and Dundee. From 2002-14, I held a Personal Chair in Soil Biology at Cranfield University and subsequently appointed as Professor of Soil Biology at the University of Nottingham, retiring to emeritus status in 2019.

I have published over 160 research papers, dozens of book chapters, co-edited five books and given hundreds of conference presentations. I am currently Editor-in-Chief of the high-ranking scientific journal Soil Biology Biochemistry. A passionate fundamental researcher, I am convinced that soil – the primary business asset for all field-based growers – is the most remarkable, complex and fascinating material on the planet. And especially when plants are growing in it!

I greatly enjoy revealing new views of the underworld to practitioners and the public, explaining how the system works, and exploring how such knowledge can inform effective management strategies.

What Lies Beneath? Perspectives on the Underworld

Big Top

Soils function by virtue of the way they are put together and the interactions that occur between the myriad of physical, chemical and biological components within. This presentation will provide a brief primer on the belowground system, with an emphasis on the critical roles of soil pore networks, and ways to effectively manage these.

Lecture
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Rainfall Simulator

Big Top

See the dramatic effect of two inches of rainfall on soils under different management regimes: no-till and cultivated, with and without cover and under permanent pasture.

Demonstration
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What Lies Beneath? Perspectives on the Underworld

Big Top

Soils function by virtue of the way they are put together and the interactions that occur between the myriad of physical, chemical and biological components within. This presentation will provide a brief primer on the belowground system, with an emphasis on the critical roles of soil pore networks, and ways to effectively manage these.

Lecture
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The Below-Ground Powerplant: How the Biological Engine of the Earth Underpins Soil Health

Old Dairy

Soils are dynamic systems teeming with a huge variety of life. Below-ground communities, often in concert with plants, drive and regulate the majority of the key processes which make soils function. This presentation will explain some of the mechanisms involved, and how an appreciation of soils as living systems can inform their successful management.

Lecture
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