Centre for the Environment

Image of Sacha Mooney

Sacha Mooney

Professor in Soil Physics & Director of the Hounsfield Facility, Faculty of Science



I am currently Professor (2012-) in Soil Physics at the University of Nottingham having previously been Reader (2010-2012), Associate Professor (2006-2010) and Lecturer (2000-2006). My research is focused on utilizing information on the structural geometry of porous media to understand and predict its behaviour and subsequent function. Given this rather general theme my interests have considerable overlap across many disciplines and as such I work with many varied groups of researchers from engineers to mathematicians to geographers to biologists. One of my main interests is utilizing imaging techniques such as X-ray Computed Tomography and in 2014 we established The Hounsfield Facility, a research centre that houses several CT scanners capable of visualising materials from the nano scale to the metre scale. For further details on this and current research projects please visit http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/microct

Teaching Summary

I currently teach on several modules related to soil science, image processing and project management. These include:


Sustainable Soil Management

The Green Planet

BSci & MSci Research Project

Research Summary

My research is currently focused on exploring plant-soil interactions of which X-ray Computed Tomography is employed in most studies. My group has several funded and recent projects in this area… read more

Current Research

My research is currently focused on exploring plant-soil interactions of which X-ray Computed Tomography is employed in most studies. My group has several funded and recent projects in this area including:

NERC Capital Infrastructure NxT-Gen CT Scanner (£714k) PI 2022-2024

Syngenta Impact of structure on Agrochemical transport £150k PI

BBSRC Responsive Mode Breakthru - Soil Compaction £1M 2022-2025

BBSRC/Newton Fund: NUCLEUS: a virtual joint centre to deliver enhanced Nitrogen Use effiCiency via an integrated SoiL-plant systEms approach for the Uk & BraSil (see http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/nucleus/index.aspx)(PI Mooney)

BBSRC LegumeSELECT: Science-driven Evaluation of LEgume Choice for Transformed livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa. 2018-2022. £1.5M (PI Liz Baggs, Edinburgh)

NERC GCRF Conservation Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa (CePHAS). c. £5M (PI Murray Lark).

BBSRC ISP Designing Future Wheat. 2017-2023.

BBSRC/Newton Fund: A 3D Model of Photosynthesis to Inform Breeding for Improved Rice Performance in a Changing Climate (PI Andy Fleming University of Sheffield)

BBSRC Responsive Mode Grant: Plant-based controls on soil structural dynamics: elucidating the interactive roles of the genotype, phenotype and soil microbial community (PI Karl Ritz) with BGS


BBSRC Responsive Mode Grant (under the soil-water highlight): Truly Predicting Water Uptake in Wheat (with Tiina Roose at University of Southampton). 2012-2015.

BBSRC Responsive Mode Grant (under the photosynthesis highlight): Optimising Photosynthetic Efficiency via Leaf Structure (with Andy Fleming at University of Sheffield). 2012-2015.

BBSRC Responsive Mode: Soil Surface Matters (with Karl Ritz, Cranfield University & Stefan Doerr, Swansea University)

BBSRC International Partnering Award: Brazil: sustainable soil management for improved food security and bioenergy delivery. 2012-2015.

ERC FutureRoots (PI Malcolm Bennett) c. £4M. 2012-2017.

European Plant Phenotyping Network (EPPN): Nottingham one of 14 European Partners. 2012-2017.

Enhancing resource Uptake from Roots under stress in cereal crops (EUROOT): Nottingham one of 20 European Partners. 2012-2017.

My group also has several industrial and commercial projects some of which can be found here: www.nottingham.ac.uk/microCT

In addition, I am also involved in 15 PhD research programmes, further details are available here


Centre for the Environment

C/O School of Geography
The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 846 7712