Integrating Soil Biodiversity into Ecosystem Services

National University of Ireland, University College Dublin

UCD is one of Europe's leading research-intensive universities, an environment where undergraduate education, masters and PhD training, research, innovation, and community engagement form a dynamic spectrum of activity.

Since its foundation, the University has made a unique contribution to the creation of modern Ireland based on successful engagement with Irish society on every level and across every sphere of activity. The international standing of UCD has grown in recent years; it is currently ranked within the top 1% of higher education institutions worldwide. UCD is also Ireland's most globally engaged university, with over 38,000 students drawn from 152 countries, including over 5,000 students based outside of Ireland. The University's main Dublin campus occupies an extensive parkland estate of 133 hectares and offers world-leading facilities, including the UCD O'Brien Centre for Science, UCD Sutherland School of Law, UCD Lochlan Quinn School of Business, UCD Moore Centre for Business, and the UCD Student Centre.

As Ireland's largest university, with its great strength and diversity of disciplines, UCD embraces its role to contribute to the flourishing of Ireland through the study of people, society, business, economy, culture, languages, and the creative arts, as well as through research and innovation. The University's Strategy 2020-2024 Rising to the Future outlines the objectives and major strategic initiatives set in place to accomplish UCD's vision for this era.

The SOB4ES research group in UCD has access to the following resources: UCD Earth Institute, UCD Nova Innovation Centre, and UCD Lyons Research Farm.

The researchers in this project are based in two Schools in the University: Prof Olaf Schmidt is based at the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science. SAFS comprises 60 full-time academic staff, with a vibrant community of post-doctoral researchers and postgraduate students.
Dr Tancredi Caruso is based at the UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science. SBES is host to 38 academic staff. The School is actively engaged in four key areas of interlinked thematic research: ecosystems, global change & sustainability; evolution & population biology; plant sciences; and cellular systems. The breadth of expertise facilitates our involvement in large-scale research activities at UCD. At the national level, the School provides expertise that informs environmental and sustainable management policies, supporting agricultural and food industries.

Role within SOB4ES

Role of the institution within SOB4ES: WP5 Lead, contributing to WPs 1, 2, 3, 4, & 6, and Prof. Olaf Schmidt is a member of the project steering group. UCD will provide expertise on SOB (from microorganisms to micro-, meso- and macro-fauna) and its links to ES. UCD will cover the analyses of SOB community composition and structure in a comprehensive way, i.e., from the smallest bacteria, Archaea, fungi and protists to soil nematodes, enchytraeids, micro-arthropods (mites and springtails) up to macro-arthropods and earthworms. UCD are leading experts in soil food-web ecology and network analyses. UCD is part of the EUdaphobase large-scale data platform and SoilBON.

Main contacts

Photo of Professor Olaf Schmidt
Professor Olaf Schmidt


Photo of Dr Tancredi Caruso
Dr Tancredi Caruso

Associate Professor in Ecology

Photo of Mr Charles Harper
Mr Charles Harper

Research Support, Research Stakeholder Manager