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Early Career Case Study: Dr Divya Pandey

Tell us about your background. Where are you from and what did you do before you joined the Department of Environment and Geography?

I come from India and hold master's and PhD degrees in Environmental Science. My research focus is on understating the agriculture-environment interactions. Specifically, how different agricultural practices and changing environmental conditions affect yields, GHG efficiency, soil carbon stocks and soil properties in croplands. Currently I work in the Stockholm Environment Institute – York which is based within the Department of Environment and Geography. Before this, I worked as researcher in different positions at Banaras Hindu University and National Academy of Sciences, India. 

Why did you decide to become an Early Career Researcher in the Department of Environment and Geography?

SEI and Department of Environment and Geography of the University of York are leading Institutions for Environmental Science related research. Their multidisciplinary environment offers opportunities to widen my research and possibly collaborate with experts from different fields. Because SEI is well known for connecting research to society and policy, I could foresee, it will make my research more impactful. These factors are crucial for career development, I am glad I could be a part of this system.

Tell us about your research. What do you currently work on and how are you funded?

I work as Research Associate under the project, ‘What levels of risk will ground-level ozone pose to soil carbon sequestration over coming decades’ which is funded by AXA Research Fund. I am trying to understand how ozone (a secondary air pollutant) exposure to plants can alter carbon dynamics in soil by affecting biomass quantity and quality, root exudation and decomposition process, and how it may affect soil carbon sequestration in the long term.

What part of your work do you like best?

I enjoy performing field experiments and analyzing the results of parameters assessed. It is simply exciting to me to look at the data collected and make interpretations. In this particular study, I am also enjoying understanding the models and how different parts of them are connected.

What piece of advice would you share with other Early Career researchers?

I think, having a clear direction towards what I want to achieve as a career goal has helped me in identifying and securing the best possible places and research groups to work with.