Wanyue Zhao

Postgraduate Student


I graduated from University of Bristol in July 2017 with a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Geoscience. My final year research project was conducted under the supervision of Professor David Sherman. The project was titled ‘Investigation of heavy mineral contaminations in Force Crag mine water’, focused on the treatment scheme of Zn in the mine water, including sulphate reduction and sorption of Zn to iron hydroxides.

I started my PhD at the University of Bristol in October 2019, based in the Organic Geochemistry Unit (OGU), under the supervision of Dr Ian Bull. 

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Soil microorganisms play a central role in the biotic processing of soil organic matter (SOM). They are key agents in the biochemical transformations affecting primary productivity, nutrient cycling and environmental quality. Previously, the soil microbiological community has been assessed using several methods in order to ascertain its function in soil processes underpinning soil fertility and its role (e.g. methane oxidation, nitrogen fixation) in the wider environment. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have been long recognised as by-products of biochemical processes mediated by the soil microbial community. My research aims to develop methods to test the overall hypothesis that VOCs represent a better immediate indicator of soil health than conventional measures such as genome-based methodologies and inorganic indicators.

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