Dr William Stiles

BSc. (Hons) PhD

Dr William Stiles

Lecturer in Soil Science

Department of Life Sciences

Contact Details


Will has a background in soil science and ecology, particularly with regard to soil biology and plant-soil interactions, and his research looks for ways to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture and make farming and food production more sustainable. 

Current projects:

Biomass Connect, the Biomass Innovation and Information Platform, is a demonstration and knowledge sharing initiative to showcase best practice and innovations in land-based biomass feedstock production. Biomass Connect is funded the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DSNEZ), as part of the government’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, which looks to accelerate the commercialisation of low-carbon technologies and systems.

In addition to his university responsibilities, Will is also a director of an external company, Vertikit, which aims to support the development of the CEA and Vertical Farming sectors in the UK.

Additional Information

Will completed a PhD in ecology and biogeochemistry at IBERS, Aberystwyth University, with a thesis entitled: Identifying key environmental factors affecting primary productivity and ecosystem services in the uplands.

Prior to this, Will Studied for a BSc (Hons) in Ecology & Environmental Management (joint honours) at the University of Worcester, graduating with First-class honours, before working on a project at Cranfield University for the HGCA to develop a calibration model for measuring phosphorus in UK soil, using visible and near infrared spectroscopy.


Research interests include:

Soil system responses to land use change, such as the introduction of biomass crops, and ecological and soil based responses to system biogeochemical change, such as in response to nutrient, particularly nitrogen (N), pollution. Specifically, this has focused on the effect of phosphorus (P) availability in situations of chronic N pollution and the role of P limitation with regard to influence on plant diversity, soil biology, carbon fluxes and soil carbon storage potential.


Kipling, RP, Stiles, WAV, de Andrade-Lima, M, MacKintosh, N, Roberts, MW, Williams, CL, Wootton-Beard, PC & Watson-Jones, SJ 2023, 'Interaction in online postgraduate learning: What makes a good forum?', Distance Education, vol. 44, no. 1, pp. 162-189. 10.1080/01587919.2022.2150391
Ullah, R, Asghar, I, Griffiths, MG, Stacey, C, Stiles, W & Whitelaw, C 2023, Internet of Things based Sensor System for Vertical Farming and Controlled Environment Agriculture. in Proceedings - 2023 6th Conference on Cloud and Internet of Things, CIoT 2023. 2023 6th Conference on Cloud and Internet of Things (CIoT), IEEE Press, pp. 136-140, 6th Conference on Cloud and Internet of Things, CIoT 2023, Lisbon, Portugal, 20 Mar 2023. 10.1109/CIoT57267.2023.10084913
Stiles, W 2019, 'Are riparian buffer strips an opportunity to increase tree cover on UK farms whilst simultaneously reducing the impact of agricultural pollution?' Farming Connect.
Stiles, W 2018, 'Better soil management: avoiding soil compaction' Farming Connect. <https://businesswales.gov.wales/farmingconnect/posts/better-soil-management-avoiding-soil-compaction>
Stiles, W 2018, 'Better soil management: soil biology' Farming Connect. <https://businesswales.gov.wales/farmingconnect/better-soil-management-soil-biology>
More publications on the Research Portal