Nicholas Clarke’s main area of research has been concerned with various aspects of the chemistry of natural fresh water and soil, in the contexts of acid precipitation, the carbon cycle, and nutrient losses due to harvesting and ecosystem degradation. In his Ph.D. work, he developed a method for the fractionation of aluminium in natural fresh waters, to determine the species that have toxic effects on organisms. The method was later further developed to include iron (III) and iron (II) as well as aluminium. Later, he worked extensively with organic matter in forest soils, with a particular interest in dissolved organic carbon. He has been greatly involved in the Norwegian Monitoring Programme for Forest Damage, which monitors forest condition at sites over the whole country in relation to acid deposition and other stress factors, and in the International Co-operative Programme on Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forests (ICP Forests), where he has had positions of responsibility (see below). In the EU-funded Wood-en-man project, he worked with assessment of the capacity of forest soil to release nutrients in order to compensate for increased biomass export after harvesting. He is now leader for the project “Ecological consequences of increased biomass removal from forests in Norway”, funded by the Research Council of Norway. In field experiments in eastern and western Norway, they are investigating effects of post-harvest removal of branches and tops on soil, soil water chemistry and ground vegetation. In a Research Centre for Environmentally Friendly Energy dealing with bioenergy, he leads a work package dealing with sustainability issues. He has also worked with degraded forest or ex-forest ecosystems in India, the effects on soil chemistry in China of growing genetically modified maize compared with conventional maize, the chlorine cycle in the forest ecosystem, and erosion after building forest roads in steep terrain.
Biography Updated on 3 November 2012