Dr Rob Parkinson

Dr Rob Parkinson


Academic responsibilities: BSc Biosciences Programme leader, Bicton College and Duchy College Academic Liaison tutor, Undergraduate Projects tutor, MSc Sustainable Horticulture and Food Production link tutor (with Schumacher College). Teaching and research responsibilities include environment and habitat management, soil sustainable use of nutrients, water and bioresources in land use systems. 


PhD Soil water dynamics, University of London
MSc (Dist.) Pedology and Soil Survey, University of Reading
BSc (Hons) Geography and Geology, University of Leeds

Professional membership

Chartered Scientist (CSci)
Member, Institute of Soil Scientists (MI Soil Sci)
Fellow, Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Roles on external bodies

South West England Soils Group Honorary Secretary and Treasurer

Teaching interests

Teaching interests include a range of modules covering environment, sustainability, land use and habitat management topics at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Recent research and consultancy includes projects investigating aspects of nutrient management and environmental quality within land use systems, sponsored by organisations such as DEFRA, the Environment Agency, as well as postgraduate students on doctoral programmes.

Staff serving as external examiners

MSc external examiner, University of Cork, 2012-
MSc external examiner, Managing the Environment. Aberystwyth University 2006-2010
BSc external examiner, Environmental Management. University of Hertfordshire 2009-2012
Higher degree (Ph.D) examiner for Universities of London, Hertfordshire, Exeter, Reading, Coventry, Hull, Aberystwyth, Galway

Research interests

My research focuses on environmental aspects of agricultural land use and sustainability of food production systems, in particular the exploitation of soil, water and plant resources. I am interested in nutrient dynamics in sustainable agricultural systems and the environmental impacts of farm and human waste recycling, including composting and anaerobic digestion. I also work on edaphic and landscape controls on habitat restoration strategies.

Research degrees awarded to supervised students

Velasco-Velasco 2009; Misselbrook 2006; Challinor 2006

Grants & contracts

Defra (2010) Design and implementation of technical management systems for anaerobic digestion. Defra KTP programme.  £121,000.
Seale-Hayne Educational Trust (2007) Land use change, energy crops and nutrient losses (£1,200)
Environment Agency (2007-08) Road-testing Soil Quality Indicators (£8,300)
Seale-Hayne Educational Trust (2006) Floristic diversity and grazing regimes on Dartmoor (£6,700)
Wyvern Waste Services (2005) Characterisation and analysis of input organic waste materials for processing in composting treatment systems. £24,900
Carymoor Environmental Trust (2005) Organic Waste Treatment Using Novel Technologies. £30,000
English Nature (2005) Application of GIS to Culm Grassland habitat restoration.  £10,000

Key publications are highlighted

Velasco-Velasco J, Parkinson RJ & Kuri V 2011 'Ammonia emissions during vermicomposting of sheep manure' Bioresource Technology 102, 10959-10964 Publisher Site , DOI
Parkinson RJ 2011 'Hot water extractable soil carbohydrate - a sensitive measurement for determining the impact of long-term tillage and residue management' Journal of the Indian Society of Soil Science
Parkinson RJ, Burns I, Rahn C & Fuller MP 2010 'Nutrient pollution from horticultural production systems - tools for policy advice from field to catchment scales' Acta Horticulturae 852, 27-38
Parkinson RJ, Velasco-Velasco J & Kuri V 2009 'A predictive framework for nitrogen flow in integrated agricultural systems in Central Mexico' Aspects of Applied Biology 93, 205-211
Parkinson RJ, Hazarika S, Bol R, Dixon L, Russell PJ, Donovan S & Allen S 2009 'Effect of tillage system and straw management on organic matter dynamics' Agronomy for Sustainable Development 29, 525-533
Parkinson RJ 2007 'Evaluating the Implementation of the Nitrates Directive in Denmark and England using an Actor-Oriented Approach Environmental Science & Policy' European Environment 17 (2), 124-144 , DOI
Rahman S & Parkinson RJ 2007 'Productivity and soil fertility relationships in rice production systems, Bangladesh' Agricultural Systems 92 (1-3), 318-333 , DOI
Rahman S & Parkinson RJ 2007 'Soil fertility and productivity relationships in rice production system, Bangladesh' Agricultural Systems 92(1-3), 318-333 , DOI PEARL
Misselbrook TH, Scholefield D & Parkinson R 2005 'Using time domain reflectometry to characterize cattle and pig slurry infiltration into soil' Soil Use and Management 21, (2) 167-172
Parkinson R, Gibbs P, Burchett S & Misselbrook T 2004 'Effect of turning regime and seasonal weather conditions on nitrogen and phosphorus losses during aerobic composting of cattle manure' Bioresource Technology 91, (2) 171-178
Parkinson RJ 2003 'Cut your losses – reduce nutrient loss while using farmyard manure' Organic Farming 79, 26-27
Van Soest F, Williams A, Parkinson R & Kent M 2001 'Methodology development for wetland restoration planning based on topography and soil hydrology' International Association of Hydrological Sciences Publication 268, 271-278
Parkinson RJ, Griffiths P & Heathwaite AL 2000 'Transport of nitrogen in soil water following the application of animal manures to sloping grassland' HYDROLOGICAL SCIENCES JOURNAL-JOURNAL DES SCIENCES HYDROLOGIQUES 45, (1) 61-73 Author Site , DOI
Hatch DJ, Jarvis SC, Parkinson RJ & Lovell RD 2000 'Combining field incubation with nitrogen-15 labelling to examine nitrogen transformations in low to high intensity grassland management systems' Biology and Fertility of Soils 30, (5-6) 492-499 , DOI
Parkinson RJ, Fuller MP & Groenhof AC 1999 'An evaluation of greenwaste compost for the production of forage maize (Zea mays L)' COMPOST SCIENCE & UTILIZATION 7, (1) 72-80 Author Site
Goodwin MJ, Parkinson RJ, Williams END & Tallowin JRB 1998 'Soil phosphorus extractability and uptake in a Cirsio-Molinietum fen-meadow and an adjacent Holcus lanatus pasture on the culm measures, north Devon, UK' AGRICULTURE ECOSYSTEMS & ENVIRONMENT 70, (2-3) 169-179 Author Site , DOI
Heathwaite AL, Griffiths P & Parkinson RJ 1998 'Nitrogen and phosphorus in runoff from grassland with buffer strips following application of fertilizers and manures' SOIL USE AND MANAGEMENT 14, (3) 142-148 Author Site
Hatch DJ, Jarvis SC & Parkinson RJ 1998 'Concurrent measurements of net mineralization, nitrification, denitrification and leaching from field incubated soil cores' BIOLOGY AND FERTILITY OF SOILS 26, (4) 323-330 Author Site , DOI
Heathwaite AL, Griffiths P, Haygarth PM, Jarvis SC & Parkinson RJ 1997 'Phosphorus loss from grassland soils: Implications of land management for the quality of receiving waters' IAHS-AISH Publication 243, 177-186
Gellatly AF & Parkinson RJ 1994 'Rockfalls and glacier contraction: Cirque de Troumouse, French Pyrenees' Pirineos 143-144, 33-42 , DOI
Parkinson R & Gellatly A 1991 'Soil formation on Holocene moraines in the Cirque de Troumouse, Pyrenees' Pirineos 138, 69-104
Twomlow SJ, Parkinson RJ & Reid I 1990 'Soil loosening and drainage of structurally unstable silty soils' Journal of Hydrology 121, (1-4) 63-83 , DOI
Parkinson RJ 1988 'Field Drainage and the Soil Environment' Outlook on Agriculture 17, (4) 140-145 , DOI
Clark AM, Armstrong AC, Parkinson RJ & Reid I 1988 'Field drainage and land management, a comparison of four long terms field trials' Agricultural Water Management 14, (1-4) 113-124 , DOI
Parkinson RJ, Twomlow SJ & Reid I 1988 'The hydrological response of a silty clay loam following drainage treatment' Agricultural Water Management 14, (1-4) 125-136 , DOI
Parkinson R & Reid I 1987 'Field drainage, soil water management and flood hazard' Soil Use and Management 3, (4) 133-138 , DOI
Parkinson R & Reid I 1987 'A physical model for shallow groundwater studies and the simulation of land drain performance' Journal of Geography in Higher Education 11, (2) 125-132 , DOI
REID I & PARKINSON RJ 1987 'Winter water regimes of clay soils' Journal of Soil Science 38, (3) 473-481 , DOI
Parkinson RJ & Reid I 1986 'Effect of local ground slope on the performance of tile drains in a clay soil' Journal of Agricultural Engineering Research 34, (2) 123-132 , DOI
Parkinson RJ & Roberts AH 1985 'Microtopographical control of soil development in the Okstindan region, north Norway' Okstindan preliminary report for 1983 1-9
REID I & PARKINSON RJ 1984 'The wetting and drying of a grazed and ungrazed clay soil' Journal of Soil Science 35, (4) 607-614 , DOI
Reid I & Parkinson RJ 1984 'The nature of the tile-drain outfall hydrograph in heavy clay soils' Journal of Hydrology 72, (3-4) 289-305 , DOI
Reid I & Parkinson RJ 1984 'Seasonal changes in soil-water redistribution processes affecting drain flow'
Reid I & Parkinson RJ 1984 'Seasonal changes in soil-water redistribution processes affecting drain flow' ((eds.), Wageningen, The Netherlands, Int. Inst. Land Reclam. & Improv., 1984, Theme 2, p.156-166. (I)
Parkinson RJ 1983 'The soil phase - an applied mapping unit' Brighton Polytechnic Geographical Society Magazine 10, 33-37
Reid I & Parkinson R 1981 'Too wet, too dry: clay soil problems' Soil and Water 9, (2) 7-9
Parkinson RJ 1978 'Genesis and classification of Arctic coastal plain soils, Prudhoe Bay, Alaska' Institute of Polar Studies, Ohio State University, Report 68,
Merrington G, Winder L, Parkinson R & Redman M 2002 Agricultural Pollution - Environmental Problems and Practical Solutions. Spon's Environmental Science and Engineering Series
Misselbrook TH, Parkinson RJ & Scholefield D 2005 'Modelling emmonia and nitrous oxide emissions from slurry-amended soils - Development of an infiltration sub-model' Sustainable Organic Waste Management for Environmental Protection and Food Safety RAMIRAN 277-280
Parkinson RJ 2003 'Soil Management and Crop Nutrition' in Soffe RJ The Agricultural Notebook 20th Edition Blackwell Scientific Press 3-62
Gibbs P, Parkinson RJ, Misselbrook T & Burchett S 2002 'Environmental impacts of cattle manure composting' in Insam H; Riddech N; Klammer S Microbiology of Composting Berlin Springer Verlag 445-456
Conference Papers
Parkinson RJ, Velasco-Velasco J & Kuri V 2010 'Nitrogen use efficiency in smallholder production systems: a case study from central Mexico' 14th Ramiran Conference Lisbon 13/09/2010 15/09/2010
Parkinson RJ & Velasco-Velasco J 2008 'Nitrogen transfers and losses in integrated agricultural systems in central Mexico' 13th RAMIRAN Conference Albena, Bulgaria 01/06/2008 03/06/2008 230-235
Tompkins D & Parkinson RJ 2006 'In-vessel composting of food wastes in the UK: feedstock and output characteristics' Proceedings of 12th RAMIRAN conference, Aarhuus, Denmark 131-134
Parkinson RJ, Gibbs P, Burchett S & Samaras G 2002 'Leachate losses from cattle manure and greenwaste during composting' Proceedings of 10th RAMIRAN Conference, Strbske Pleso, Slovakia 435-438
Hill RA, Parkinson RJ, Pain BF, Phillips VR & Lowles I 2001 'Evaluation of the UK-ADMS buildings effects module using data on the near-field dispersion of ammonia at an intensive dairy farm' Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on harmonisation within atmospheric deposition modelling for regulatory pusposes, Belgirate, Italy 239-243
Parkinson RJ, Lott JE, Fuller MP & Beattie L 1999 'Evaluating strategies to reduce nitrate and phosphate loss to surface water from agricultural land on Jersey' 221-228
Other Publications
Joel?Velasco-Velasco 0 Ammonia emissions during vermicomposting of sheep manure. Robert�Parkinson; Victor�Kuri 0 0 10959-10964