Lewis Peake

Non-stipendiary Fellow / Associate Tutor

Lewis is a self-employed soil scientist, tutor, and independent researcher. His doctoral research in soil science, supervised by Professor Brian Reid in the School of Environmental Sciences (ENV) at UEA, added support to the proposition that biochar can be applied to agricultural soils in order to boost crop yields and simultaneously sequester atmospheric carbon.  His recent work includes teaching on various modules at UEA (in ENV and DEV), as well as conducting soil surveys for Agricultural Land Classification (ALC) in the private sector, but he has had a varied background which includes IT consultancy and graphic design. His other research interests have included soil erosion, soil organic matter, land evaluation methodology, environmental impact, sustainable land use and archaeology. He has combined several of these topics in a UEA student field exercise on Iron Age land use.

In 2019 he was the lecturer on the BSc module Soil Processes and Environmental Issues, in ENV, although his teaching has covered many aspects of land-based natural resources and sustainable land use, including “carbon farming” and the impacts of climate change. In 2014 he was a postdoctoral researcher on the NERC urgency project:  Impacts of the December 2013 storm surge on the North Norfolk Coast. Over the years Lewis has worked or liaised with many land users and built up a network of farming contacts in East Anglia, and in the soil science and agricultural community worldwide.

Lewis is an active member of the British Society for Soil Science (BSSS) and is especially interested in evaluating and protecting soil as part of our natural capital and as a means of storing carbon. He is currently affiliated with the Royal Society Newton-funded project: Sustaining the land from the ground up: developing soil ecosystem services valuation frameworks for tropical soils, with partners in Brazil. He is also currently investigating the planning and legal aspects of global soil and farmland loss and how this might be addressed.

In the academic year 2020-21 Lewis took on the role of Pedology teacher for the new charity, the Biodiversity and Environmental Education Society (BEES). He is a keen gardener and allotment-holder who is happy to advise anyone on the dark art of composting!

Referee for International Journals and Scientific Bodies

Expert Reviewer:

2017: Fundamental Changes in USDA Soil Taxonomy;

2017: FAO Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN): The future of food and agriculture;

2014: IPCC 2014 Working Group 3, Chapter 11: Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU).


Journal Peer Reviewer:

2020: Agronomy; 2018: Soil Science; 2016: Sustainability; 2015: Global Environmental Change; Soil Science.


Conference Presentations

January, 2013: Investigations of biochar made by the University of East Anglia on a range of soil types in the first biochar farm trials in East Anglia, to First Mediterranean Symposium on Biochar, Como, Italy.

September, 2011: Biochar amendment to improve soil properties and sequester carbon, to Soil Science in a Changing World, Wageningen, Netherlands.