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Trinity College Dublin

Personal Information
College Photo Name Williams, Michael Leonard
Main Department Botany
College Title Assistant Professor
College Tel +353 1 896 2421
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
Awards and Honours
Award Date
PhD 1986
Description of Research Interests
Soil respiration and carbon stocks Nitrous oxide emissions from agricultural soils Soil mineralisation Photosynthesis Carbohydrate partitioning in higher plants Plant cell anatomy Chloroplast symbiosis
Research Interests
Agri Environment Agronomy Algae Chloroplasts
Plant Biochemistry Plant physiology Soil Science
Research Projects
Project title Fluxes of Nitrous Oxide from Arable Soils: Emission Factors, Annual Totals and Predictive Modelling.
Summary The aim of this study is to determine the effect of reduced tillage, cover crop and N-supply on soil emissions of N2O and CO2 for a spring barley crop and to model soil fluxes of N2O and CO2 using both an empirical (predictive) and an established process-based approach (DNDC model).
Type of Project
Date from 2007
Date to 2010
Person Months

Project title CCFLUX
Summary Measurement and modelling of annual greenhouse gas budgets for agricultural crops using eddy covariance towers and static chambers.
Funding Agency EPA
Type of Project
Date from 2001
Date to 2007
Person Months

Project title GREENGRASS
Summary Measurement and modelling of greenhouse gas emissions from European grasslands
Funding Agency EU
Type of Project
Date from 2001
Date to 2004
Person Months

Project title Greenhouse gas emissions from European grasslands: field manipulation studies
Funding Agency Teagasc
Programme Walsh Fellowship
Type of Project
Date from 2007
Date to 2010
Person Months

Project title Legume Futures
Summary This research will deliver knowledge and technology for the optimisation of the use of legumes in European agricultural systems and promote the partnerships needed to support the public policy outcomes sought. By integrating the Consortium's extensive set of existing field case studies, modelling and knowledge base, the project will test, validate and deliver novel cropping systems. This network of 18 case studies, in 12 countries, will be the focus of interaction with farmers, SMEs, other businesses, and policy makers. Outputs will include system-optimised cropping plans for each pedo-climatic region, input into existing farm-planning tools, local on-farm demonstrations, a socio-economic analysis that will enable local economic assessment of cropping systems, and an ecological assessment of the effects of relevant farming system changes on greenhouse gas and nitrogen budgets, biodiversity and soil health from the farm to the continental scale. A book on legume-supported eco-efficient farming systems covering all aspects of the use of legumes in Europe will be published. The research is planned around the appreciation of how nitrogen fertilisation and the production and use of plant protein lie at the heart of many of the global, regional and local environmental challenges arising from agriculture. The project will take a novel strategic approach to knowledge interaction and delivery, in order to enhance and pool existing knowledge platforms and databases. It will then deliver the results into the farming community, commercial use, and policy practice beyond the life of the project. The project will facilitate wide access to new and existing knowledge and technologies and it will promote awareness of the role of legumes in the development of sustainable supply chains and consumption patterns. All research results and products will be put in the public domain, and partnership with all the agents of change, including policy makers, will be a key element of the work.
Funding Agency EU
Programme FP7
Type of Project Collaborative Project (Small / medium-scale focused research project)
Date from 2010
Date to 2014
Person Months

Publications and Other Research Outputs
Peer Reviewed
Abdalla, M., Jones, M. and Williams, M., Simulation of N2O fluxes from Irish arable soils: effect of climate change and management, Biology and Fertility of Soils, 2009
Notes: [DOI: 10.1007/s0037-009-0424-5]
Williams, M.L,. and Cobb, A.H., The isolation of functional chloroplasts from the sacoglossan mollusc Elysia viridis, New Phytologist, 113, 1989, p153 - 160
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Last Updated:20-SEP-2014