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David Beerling

Professor David Beerling

Professor David Beerling

Research Fellow

Interests and expertise (Subject groups)

Grants awarded

Rethinking Earth’s biotic and climatic co-evolution

Scheme: Wolfson Research Merit Awards

Organisation: University of Sheffield

Dates: Apr 2009-Mar 2014

Value: £90,000

Summary: My research aims to explain how land plants and symbiotic soil-dwelling fungi co-evolved and changed the physical environment of the Earth over millions of years. We address these fundamental aims with experimental and theoretical modelling approaches. One of the key findings to emerge over the past year from studies in soils beneath trees in Westonbirt Arboretum has been to demonstrate that symbiotic soil fungi are directly implicated in breaking down rocks and minerals. Although this may seem a trivial observation, when accumulated over millions of years, the activities of plants and fungi slowly remove the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and can gradually alter Earth’s climate. Until now the evidence has been rather indirect, but our work actually shows the fungi involved etching mineral surfaces. It opens up the new realization that fungi may have been busy changing global climate on Earth for hundreds of millions of year without anyone actually realizing it.

Scheme: University Research Fellowship

Organisation: University of Sheffield

Dates: Oct 1994-Sep 2002

Value: £18,873.77

Summary: This project summary is not available for publication.

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