Paul is a Soil Physicist working on solutions to food and environmental security, mainly focussed on how plants and microbes shape and are influenced by the physical structure of soil. He's recently been involved in several projects that study the capacity of different plant root traits to physically engineer soil, crop selection impact on water cycling in southern China, the use of vegetation to mechanically stabilise engineered slopes, and soil physical impacts on nitrogen fertiliser use efficiency in Brazil. Current projects explore the next generation of soil sensors, the better use of organic resources in Ethiopia to improve soils and their capacity to produce food and the development of decision support tools to promote more sustainable agriculture. This research is funded by a number of research councils.
He teaches on the only dedicated MSc Soil Science in the UK and oversees postgraduate research students in the School of Biological Sciences.