Dr Pia Benaud



College: College of Life and Environmental Sciences

An interest in understanding our interactions with and impacts on the natural environment led me to a BSc in Environmental Science, at Griffith University. Through pursuing the 'natural resource science' major I developed a particular interest in the use of natural processes to mitigate land degradation and catchment management issues. I then went on to enrol in the Griffith School of Environment Honours Program, wherein my research formed part of an academic and industry based project, investigating the suitability of phytocovers for landfill management, in Australia.

Following my undergraduate studies, I spent two years working as a Research Technician for Professor Richard Brazier and his team, at the University of Exeter. During this time I worked on the South West Water funded ‘Mires Restoration Project’ and on a Wessex Water funded project investigating the impact of moorland restoration on water quality in Nutscale Reservoir.

In 2018 I finished a PhD in Physical Geography, at the University of Exeter. My PhD explored some of the multiple techniques available for developing an understanding of soil erosion in the UK, and was supported by the Defra-funded research project: SP1311 - Piloting a cost-effective framework for monitoring soil erosion in England and Wales.

I am currently conducting research in support of the SWW funded ‘Mires Restoration Project’. I will be combining field measurements of vegetation diversity and carbon fluxes with remote and proximally sensing data, to build an understanding of a degraded and actively eroding peatland. I also spent the summer of 2018 establishing monitoring sites for a Sphagnum reintroduction trial on Exmoor.