School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Staff Profile

Dr Robert Payton

Senior Lecturer


Roles and Responsibilities

Degree Programme Director for: MSc in Tropical Agricultural and Environmental Science; MSc in Environmental Resource Assessment; MSc in Sustainable Land and Water Management .
Coordinator AFRD/Biology modular MSc programmes.
Chair of the AFRD/Biology MSc Joint Board of Studies.
Member of MSc Development Working Group.


Research Interests

Soil genesis: soil microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray analysis; processes forming soil catenas in the semi-arid tropics; thin ironpan formation in soils of British heathlands and moorlands; fragipan formation.
Dating processes and the history of land degradation in central Tanzania (SIDA supported joint research programme "Man-Land Interrelationships in Semi-Arid Tanzania" with Universities of Stockholm and Dar es Salaam).
Integrating indigenous and scientific knowledge about soils and land resources for sustainable land management in Tanzania and Uganda (EC INCO-DC research programme) and on Bangladesh floodplains (DFID supported "Land-Water Interface" research programme).
Acid sulphate soils and salinity intrusion in coastal lands, Vietnam (DFID supported research programme CRF Project R7467(c)).
Altitudinal zonation of soils and rainforests on tropical mountains (Indonesia and Cameroon; NERC and DFID supported).
Soil microscopy and paleo-environment reconstruction in archaeology (Romania and NW Scotland; joint research programmes with Archaeology Dept., Edinburgh University).

Postgraduate Supervision

Soil spatial variability and the soil catena concept in semi-arid tropics (Tanzania)
Temporal aspects of soil degradation under contrasting cropping regimes following forest clearance in NE Thailand
Managing soil salinity intrusion and acid sulphate soils in coastal wetlands (Vietnam)
Soils and adaptive farming systems after severe land degradation in Kondoa, Tanzania (PhD student at the University of Stockholm)


Undergraduate Teaching

AES109 Land resources
AES110 Land resources field class ML
AES216 Ecology and appraisal of soil resources ML
AES233 Soil and vegetation survey ML
AES327 Tropical soils, ecology and land use ML
AES325 Trees: Growth, Management and Environmental Impacts ML