Research update

My most recent research collaboration has been with Defu Xu, an associate professor in the College of Environmental Science and Technology, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology. His areas of expertise include bioremediation of wastewater and polluted soil, constructed wetland to purify wastewater, and nutrient cycles in water and soil.

He visited the University of Reading between September 2011 and August 2012 on the ‘Jiangsu Overseas Research and Training Program for University Prominent Young and Middle-Aged teachers’. Arising from our work together are the following publications:

2013 Defu Xu, Yingxue Li, Alan Howard Influence of earthworm Eisenia fetida on removal efficiency of N and P in vertical flow constructed wetland, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Volume 20, Issue 9 , pp 5922-5929

2013 Xu, D., Li, Y., Howard, A. and Guan, Y. Effect of earthworm Eisenia fetida and wetland plants on nitrification and denitrification potentials in vertical flow constructed wetland. Chemosphere, 92 (2). pp. 201-206. ISSN 0045-6535

2013 Xu, D., Howard, A. Effects of substrates and earthworms on photosynthetic characteristics, nitrogen and phosphorus uptake by Iris Pseudacorus in a constructed wetland system. Environmental Engineering and Management. ISSN 1614-7499.

Professor Xu is currently (until August 2013) a Visiting Professor at Purdue University, USA as part of the U.S.-China Ecopartnership for Environmental Sustainability – USCEES – furthering research in soil contaminant dynamics.

Song Contest outcome

No surprise that Norway were run away winners on Saturday night and I would have liked Azerbaijan and the UK to have been 2nd and 3rd. The model correctly predicted the winning entry but, overall, there was a less strong correlation (r2 value 0.46 compared to 0.75 – 0.85) than in previous years between predicted placing and actual ranking. As usual, the winning entry was judged by most people, irrespective of geographical or political affinity, to be the best in terms of song and performance and it is unlikely that the modified voting system made any difference.

Our website crashed during the contest due to unprecedented visitor numbers. We will be moving to a dedicated server for next year’s contest and accepting advertising!