Welcome – New lecturer Dr Oluseye Oludoye

Dr Oluseye Oludoye currently serves as a Lecturer in Environmental Science at Teesside University, UK, where he is dedicated to the trifecta of education, research, and administrative roles. His primary research interests revolve around pro-environmental behaviour, with a keen focus on effective waste management and promoting agricultural sustainability. Before joining Teesside University, he had the privilege of being a postdoctoral research fellow at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. There, he delved deep into researching pro-environmental behaviour of single-use plastic waste management.
With over a decade of experience, he had the opportunity to work across various sectors as an agri-environmental researcher, educator, and consultant. He had successfully executed funded research projects and shared his insights at international conferences, workshops, and seminars.
His dedication to research is reflected in my authorship of several publications in esteemed international journals. He has received numerous honours and awards throughout his career, including a Scholarship Award from the United Nations University-Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), Tokyo, Japan, in 2019. He recently received the prestigious Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship (2023) which bolsters my commitment to advancing sustainability on a global scale.

Earth and Environment Group photo

Before the start of the new academic term, the Earth and Environment team has a lovely get together, discussing the exciting plans for the year ahead.

left to right..

Dr Gillian Taylor (group lead), Dr Ernesto Saiz val, Dr Craig McBeth, Dr Haliza Hassan, Amy Burgess, Dr Rhys Williams, Dr Becki Scott, Dr Lisa Baldini, Dr Pablo Cubillas Gonzalez, Dr Ambroise Baker, Dr Caroline Orr, Dr Desire Dalton, Alison Reid, Dr Kerry Pettigrew, Dr Chris Ennis, Dr David Wright.


New Publication – Dr Kerry Pettigrew

New paper from Dr Kerry Pettigrew

Just Transition is a principle and strategy that ensures that the shift from a fossil-fuel-based economy to a sustainable, low-carbon economy is carried out in a fair and equitable manner, involving fair outcomes (Distributional justice), fair processes (Procedural justice), and fair and green employment (Restorative justice). This article, focusing on the Asia Pacific region, is the fourth to utilise our analytical approach of assessing and comparing national performance in just transition, using open-access global data from international organisations such as the UN and World Bank. We use indicators, selected to reflect energy behaviours and fairness in outcomes, processes and employment, to rank and compare nations’ performance on aspects of just transition, and to make policy suggestions based on the observed trends.


On the TV: Secrets in the Peat

This week you will be able to see Dr Gillian Taylor in the first episode of ‘Secrets in the Peat’ will be broadcast on BBC ALBA on Wednesday the 20th of September at 9pm – Life on the Peat. Dr Taylor will be talking about peat cores from Magna, Roman Fort.  The series will continue each Wednesday thereafter with two further episodes: Our Peaty Past and The Power of Peat.

BBC ALBA – Miorbhail na Monach – Secrets in the Peat, Series 1, Beatha air a’ Mhòintich – Life on the Peat

#secretsinthepeat #bbcalba

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


EAA Conference report – PhD student Aboli Vavle

Presenting my PhD research at the biggest Archaeological conference.

On September 1st and 2nd, I had the privilege of attending the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA) conference in Belfast, UK which is one of the biggest archaeological conferences. During the conference, I had the opportunity to share my findings and engage with fellow scholars and researchers in the field. I presented my research on the Unravelling of textile production in the Roman frontier which was in collaboration with Gillian Taylor (Director of Studies), Marta Alberti (Deputy Director of Excavations at Vindolanda Trust, UK) and Heather Hopkins (Independent Research who provided the birch dyed wool for the experiments). Our research aimed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the textile production techniques employed by the Romans in their frontier regions as well as shed light on experimental archaeology like dyeing textiles with local dyes like Birch.

I was in the first session after lunch on 2nd September. I had expected a moderate turnout for my presentation since textile production in the Roman frontier might not be a topic of interest to everyone. However, to my surprise, the room was packed with attendees eager to learn about Roman textile production and dyeing. The interest and engagement of the audience during my presentation was truly inspiring. I saw everyone attentively listening to what I was trying to explain and actively taking notes. I saw some people taking pictures of all my slides as well as 3-4 people raising their hands to ask questions and seek clarification on certain aspects of my research. One of the questions raised during the Q&A session was regarding extraction of dyes such as birch and if the methods are applicable to other dyes as well. I personally thought it was the best time to ask me this particular question because it was only a few weeks before this conference that I worked in the lab trying to find an answer to this question, which is yes! It was wonderful to see that the audience was genuinely interested and engaged with my research. This also gave me an experience of understanding what questions I could be asked for my PhD viva soon.

The EAA conference in Belfast provided a valuable platform for scholars and researchers to exchange knowledge and ideas about several research topics from all around the world. It was a massive conference with at least 50 sessions being conducted simultaneously in different parts of the University. This conference provided a diverse range of perspectives and insights into the study of colours, dyes and textiles allowing me to broaden my understanding and refine my research further. The experience of presenting my research at the EAA conference in Belfast was both exciting and rewarding and I am immensely grateful that I was given this opportunity.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Guest talk at Sanger institute by Dr Jamie Bojko

Dr Jamie Bojko recently presented at the Sanger Institute (Cambridge) in their ‘Tree of Life’ series. His presentation included our current perspective on microsporidian taxonomy and how high-quality genomes and a greater understanding of microsporidian biology will help us to create a more accurate phylogeny for this strange group of obligate parasites.

Magna – Summer progress 2023

At the  start of July, the HLF funded project started at Magna. The £1.6M project was to support excavation and explore the impact of climate change, and awarded to the Vindolanda Trust.

The Teesside University team were involved in the installation of the weather station and monitoring system – VanWalt, which provides data every 15 minutes from a wide range of sensors including pH, temperature, ORP and moisture.

In July, soil monitoring was conducted by Dr Gillian Taylor and Dr Rhys Williams prior to the excavation. You can keep upto date with excavation progress by following the dig diary. The excavation in 2023 focuses on milecastle 46 and already some interesting artefacts such as a steelyard beam.

There is also a wonderful report in current archaeology about Magna and magnifying milecastle 46.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Partnership update: East Durham College

An increasing global population and an increasing demand for animal protein has increased the pressure on commercial farming systems. Efficiency is therefore critical, ensuring appropriate growth, balanced with maintaining high standards of welfare. Animal feed represents a significant outgoing for farmers and many commercially purchased feeds also come at significant environmental cost. Growing crops at distance to the farm increases the carbon footprint and the use of imported soya is problematic. Adapting ways of working is crucial, ensuring a balance between optimum growth rates of livestock, ensuring the health and welfare of the animals is maintained, whilst sourcing feed sustainably and locally, potentially complementing farming practices such as crop rotation. For farmers to have confidence in changing feeding regimes, evidence is required demonstrating that pigs will consume locally grown food and reach weight targets in a timely manner. Furthermore, such a change in diet for the animals should be confirmed to result in no negative impact on consumer experience. 

Together with our industrial partner at East Durham College, we are undertaking a project which aims to showcase the potential benefits of producing animal feed on the same site as the animals are reared.

Any questions to Dr Amy Miller

Contact details and further information here: https://research.tees.ac.uk/en/persons/amy-miller

New paper alert: Climate Change – Dr Ernesto Saiz Val

Climate change is affecting the dynamics of greenhouse gas emissions depending on land use, a new study by Guo et al. (2023) has found.

Climate change is now a fact. Experts all over the world agree that we are going to suffer more frequent extreme weather. This is then more frequent heavy rain leading in many cases to severe flooding, and more frequent heat waves leading to severe droughts. Water is a main factor affecting soil biogeochemistry, so these changing soil conditions (prolonged flooding and flooding-drying) were the main driver of the study, including land-use change. The study was conducted by a group of multidisciplinary and multi-institutional scientists leaded by Prof Sami Ullah and Dr Yafei Guo from the University of Birmingham (Biogeochemists), Dr Ernesto Saiz from Teesside University (Biogeochemist), Dr Aleks Radu from Lincoln University (Chemist), and Prof Sameer Sonkusale from Tufts University (Engineer). Also, this study was used for testing new sensor prototypes for continuous monitoring of soil ions (potassium, ammonium, nitrate, and pH). The findings suggest that extreme weather and land-use should be consider for the calculations of the Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Link to the paper: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geodrs.2023.e00697

New paper alert: Invasive species – Dr Jamie Bojko

Human travel and transport has resulted in the introduction of several ‘invasive’ species to new global locations. In one instance, trade routes across Europe have moved freshwater crustaceans from the Ponto-Caspian region (Ukraine/western Russia/etc.) to lakes and rivers across Poland, Germany, France and more. The “tank shrimp” Pontogammarus robustoides, is one such invasive species – it has significant impacts on the ecosystems that it invades. In this case, we conducted a parasitological screening study to look for diseases that this amphipod might carry. We found a huge range of new parasites, from viruses and bacteria to large worms and other parasites. Now that we know of these parasites, we can consider their potential risk to new ecosystems if this species makes it way to other sites, potentially including the invasion of the UK, following in the footsteps of the killer and demon shrimp.

Click here for link to read more:

Histopathological screening of Pontogammarus robustoides (Amphipoda), an invader on route to the United Kingdom – ScienceDirect