Sustainability database


Prof Liz Sheffield

Associate Dean - Teaching, Learning and Students

My research concerns mosses, liverworts and ferns in both natural and artificial environments. I am very interested in the reproductive processes of non-flowering plants, sporing behaviour in particular. Several current projects relate to conservation, including work on the environmental impact of herbicides.

Environmental impact of herbicides. Work in conjunction with English Nature, Scottish Natural Heritage, Aventis and the Natural History Museum is examining the effects of the herbicide asulam on non-target species. This is a herbicide used to control bracken, and is often sprayed over large areas of countryside by helicopters. The the work so far has centred on laboratory application of the herbicide to moss and fern species, but field trials are imminent and long-term impacts of the herbicide on natural vegetation are to be assessed.

Sustainability enthusiast?: 
Interdisciplinary themes: 




Ecosystem diversity; interaction and interdependency of organisms


Plant Sciences

Plants form the basis of life on Earth...

They are essential to us as food and their domestication was a primary driving factor in the birth of civilisation. Now, with the rising world population and climate change increasing the frequency of crop failures, food supply is becoming a key issue throughout the world. At the same time, plants are playing a growing role in meeting our energy needs and have enormous potential as sources of novel compounds.

Plants, Plant science, Biology, Climate change