Welcome to new PhD student at University of Reading who will join the Twenty65 PhD community.

Posted: 30.11.2016

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Charlotte Hawkins, ‘Developing optical methods for catchment management to protect drinking water’. Supervised by Joanna Clark, Chris Collins (Reading), Alister Leggatt (Affinity Water) and Robin Oliver (Syngenta), funded by EPSRC DTC (Reading), Syngenta and Affinity Water.

Pesticides are an essential crop protection for food production but can cause issues if they enter our drinking water supply. This PhD will focus on improving the understanding of pesticides binding to organic matter and will use this knowledge to assess how well optical sensors can be used a proxy method to measure pesticide transport from land to surface waters. Working with a global crop protection company and a water supply company, this novel project will be a cross-disciplinary collaboration where both parties are interested in catchment management to improve raw water quality.


“‘The environment has always been an interest of mine,” says Charlotte, “and it was whilst I was studying my undergraduate degree in agriculture that I really started to take an interest in the interaction between agriculture and the environment. Both sectors have a huge impact on each other and with climate change and population growth, it is becoming increasingly important that these two industries work closer together.”


This PhD will link in with ongoing work planned for Theme 5 Catchments Theme in the Loddon Catchment in collaboration with the Environment Agency and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust; working closely with Jonny Ritson, Nigel Graham and Mike Templeton (Imperial College) and others within the catchment theme.


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