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Dr. Michael Williams

Assistant Professor (Botany)

Assistant Professor (Trinity Centre for the Environment)

Dr. Michael Williams joined the College in 1992 as a joint lecturer in the Botany Department and the Environmental Science Unit (now the Trinity College Centre for Environment). He is a member of the Plant Physiology research group. His primary research activity centers on the measurement and modeling of below ground soil processes in agricultural systems. Other research interests include photosynthesis and respiration in higher plants and algae. Ongoing Projects Measurement and modeling of soil respiration in arable and pasture soils. Funding Agency - EPA and EU Measurement and modeling of nitrous oxide emissions in agricultural soils Funding Agency - EPA Soil mineralization and pasture management in a Mayo catchment. Funding Agency - Teagasc Previous Projects Physiological studies of salt tolerance in Plantago maritima. Funding Agency - Enterprise Ireland Respiration and carbohydrate metabolism in higher plants. Funding Agency - Enterprise Ireland
  Agri Environment   Agronomy   Algae   Chloroplasts   Plant Biochemistry   Plant physiology   Soil Science
 Fluxes of Nitrous Oxide from Arable Soils: Emission Factors, Annual Totals and Predictive Modelling.
 Greenhouse gas emissions from European grasslands: field manipulation studies
 Legume Futures

Nuria Valbuena, Owen Fenton, Patrick Thouy, William Burchill, Michael Williams, Gary Lanigan, James Humphreys, The effect of mole drainage on background N2O emissions from an unfertilised clay-loam soil, The Agriculture Research Forum 2015, Tullamore, Co. Offaly, Ireland, 2015, Notes: [ABSTRACT: Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a potent greenhouse gas with N2O flux from soils is primarily produced by microorganisms present in the soil, through multiple processes which are affected by factors such as soil contents of nitrate, moisture, carbon, oxygen and soil temperature. The aim of the current study was to investigate the effect of mole drainage on N2O emissions from grassland systems, shortly after installation and after three years.], Conference Paper, PUBLISHED  URL
Nuria Valbuena, Patrick Tuohy, Owen Fenton, William Burchill , Gary Lanigan, Michael Williams, James Humphreys , The effect of mole drainage on N2O emissions from a clay-loam soil under grassland, Wageningen Soils Conference, , Wageningen, The Netherlands, 2015, 2015, Notes: [ABSTRACT: Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a potent greenhouse gas produced by microorganisms in the soil. Land drainage alters soil moisture, which influences N2O emissions. The objective was to investigate the effect of mole drainage on N2O emissions. This study was conducted at Solohead Research Farm (52° 51' N, 08° 21' W, 95 m), with permanent perennial ryegrass/white clover grassland, clay loam soil, shallow water table depth (WT; <2 m), mean annual rainfall of 1036 mm and monthly soil temperature between 5.6 and 16.3⁰C. Experiment A was laid down in 2011. It was a randomized complete block design with four treatments replicated four times. Treatments were (i) undrained control (ii) mole drains installed in January (iii) mole drains installed in July and (iv) gravel mole drains installed in July. Experiment B was laid down in June 2014. It was a randomized complete block design with two treatments replicated four times. Treatments were (i) control and (ii) gravel mole drains. Fertilizer N was not applied to either experiment. In experiment A soil N2O flux, WT and water filled pore space (WFPS; top 10 cm) were measured between June and November 2011 and between January and June 2014. On experiment B the above set of measurements started in June 2014 and are on-going. Drainage (P<0.05) lowered WT and WFPS compared with the control in both experiments. There was no significant difference in cumulative N2O emissions between the drained and control treatments during any of the sampling periods. On experiment A mean (SE) daily N2O-N emissions were 39.2 (1.43) g/ha in 2011 and 23.1 (1.12) g/ha in 2014. On experiment B daily average emissions were 5.67 (0.67) g/ha between July and December 2014. Subsurface mole and gravel mole drainage lowered the WT and reduced the WFPS, however, they had no detectable effect on N2O emissions], Conference Paper, PUBLISHED  URL
W Burchill, E K James, D Li, G J Lanigan, M Williams, P P M Iannetta, J Humphreys ·, Comparisons of biological nitrogen fixation in association with white clover (Trifolium repens L.) under four fertiliser nitrogen inputs as measured using two 15N techniques, Plant and Soil, 2014, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
WILLIAM BURCHILL, DEJUN LI, GARY J. LANIGAN, MICHEAL WILLIAMS, JAMESHUMPHREYS, Interannual variation in nitrous oxide emissions fromperennial ryegrass/white clover grassland used for dairyproduction, Global Change Biology, 2014, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Roth, B., Finnan, J., Jones, M.B., Burke, J.L. and Williams, M.L., Are the benefits of yield responses to nitrogen fertiliser application in the bioenergy crop Miscanthus x giganteus offset by increased soil emissions of nitrous oxide, Global Change Biology Bioenergy, doi: 10.1111/gcbb.12, 2014, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Abdalla M, Osborne B, Lanigan G, Forristal D, Williams M, Smith P, Jones MB, Conservation tillage systems: a review of its consequences for greenhouse gas emissions, Soil Use and Management, 29, (2), 2013, p199-209 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Abdalla M, Saunders M, Hastings A, Williams M, Smith P, Osborne B, Lanigan G, Jones MB, Simulating the impacts of land use in Northwest Europe on Nat Ecosystem Exchange (NEE): The role of arable ecosystems, grasslands and forest plantations in climate change mitigation., Science of the Total Environment, 465, (1), 2013, 325-336 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Brendan Roth, Mike Jones, James Burke and Michael Williams, The Effects of Land-Use Change from Grassland to Miscanthus x giganteus on Soil N2O Emissions , Land, 2, (3), 2013, p437 - 451, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
M.I. Khalil, M. Richards, B. Osborne, M. Williams, and C. Müller, Simulation and validation of greenhouse gas emissions and SOC stock changes in arable land using the ECOSSE Model , Atmospheric Environment, 81, 2013, p616 - 624, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Abdalla M, Rueangritsarakul K, Jones M, Osborne B, Helmy M, Roth B, Burke J, Nolan P, Smith P, Williams M,, How effective is reduced tillage-cover crop management in reducing N2O fluxes from arable crop soils?, Water Air and Soil Pollution, 223, 2012, p5155 - 5174, Journal Article, PUBLISHED

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Mike Williams, Lavender and Haddock, USA, Createspace, 2015, Notes: [ISBN-10: 151684498X ISBN-13: 978-1516844982], Book, PUBLISHED
Mike Williams, Educating Creatures, USA, Createspace, 2015, Notes: [ISBN-10: 1516959698 ISBN-13: 978-1516959693], Book, PUBLISHED
Mike Williams, The Allure iof the Red Wyrm, USA, Createspace, 2015, Notes: [ISBN-10: 1517020654 ISBN-13: 978-1517020651], Book, PUBLISHED
Michael Williams, Jane Stout, Brendan Roth, Susannah Cass, Valentini Pappa and Bob Rees, Legume Futures Report 3.7 Environmental implications for legume cropping, 2014, Report, PUBLISHED
Michael Williams, Jane Stout, Susannah Cass, Jenny Fischer, Hewart Böhm, Donal Murphy-Bokern, Tom Kuhlman, Fred L. Stoddard, Kristina Lindström, Christine Watson, Valentini Papa, Kairsty Topp, Moritz Reckling, Sara Preißel, Andrea Bues, Peter Zander, Marie Trydeman Knudsen, Jørgen E. Olesen, John E. Hermansen, Kirsten Schelde, Legume Futures Report 3.8/6.6 Policy implications of the environmental and resource effects of legume cropping, 2014, Report, PUBLISHED
Stoddard, F.L., Williams, M.L., Sampling and measurement protocols for field experiments assessing the performance of legume-supported cropping systems. Legume Futures Report 1,, 2011, Report, PUBLISHED


Award Date
PhD 1986
Soil respiration and carbon stocks Nitrous oxide emissions from agricultural soils Soil mineralisation Photosynthesis Carbohydrate partitioning in higher plants Plant cell anatomy Chloroplast symbiosis