Dr Emma Pilgrim

Research Interests

My interest lies in alternative approaches to food production such as Forest Gardens. These tree based agricultural systems, have been developed in the Tropics for over 12,000 years. There, known as Home Gardens, they are established close to people’s homes and typically managed to provide numerous social, economic and environmental benefits. The majority of crops in the system are perennials, grown over several levels. This predominance of perennial plants is believed to result in less maintenance, soil disturbance and fertiliser, than annual crops thereby reducing the system’s environmental impact.

Robert Hart first introduced his temperate Forest Garden concept, based on the home garden approach, into the UK in the 1980’s. Subsequently it has been gaining popularity here among the public as a more sustainable form of food production. However there is little if any research on multi-layered agroforestry in temperate climates. Through my Daphne Jackson Research Fellowship, funded by the BBSRC, I will conduct a pilot study on the Forest Garden system to begin to assess its agronomic, social and environmental benefits in Britain in terms of raspberry production. I have chosen to focus on raspberries as they are:a common component of Forest Garden and an important economic crop, whose yield is increased by pollination.

The aim of my project is to determine whether Forest Gardens could enable local communities to become more self-sufficient thereby alleviating both the pressure on UK agricultural production and our reliance on fruit imports.

Publications

Refereed papers in primary journals
De Vries, F., Manning P., Tallowin, J., Mortimer, S., Pilgrim, E.S., Harrison, K., Hobbs, P.J. Quirk, H., Shipley, B., Cornelissen, J.H.C., Kattge, J. and Bardgett, R.D. (2012) Abiotic drivers and plant traits explain landscape scale patterns in soil microbial communities. Ecology Letters 15(11):1230-9. DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2012.01844.x 

Blackwell M.S.A. and Pilgrim, E.S. (2011) Ecosystem services delivered by small-scale wetlands, Hydrological Sciences Journal 56 (8) 1467-1484 DOI:10.1080/02626667.2011.630317.

Dick, J., Andrews, C., Beaumont, D. A., Benham, S., Brooks, D. R., Corbette, S., Lloyd, D., McMillan, S., Monteith, D. T., Pilgrim, E.S., Rose, R., Scott, A., Scott, T., Smith, R. I., Taylor, C., Taylor, M., Turner, A. and Watson, H. (2011). A comparison of ecosystem services delivered by eleven long-term monitoring sites in the UK Environmental Change Network Environmetrics 22(5) 639-648. DOI: 10.1002/env.1069.

Blake R.J., Woodcock, B.A., Ramsay, A.J., Pilgrim E.S., Brown, V.K., Tallowin, J.R. and Potts, S.G. (2011). Novel margin management to enhance Auchenorrhyncha biodiversity in intensive grasslands. Agriculture Ecosystems and Environment 140: 506-513. DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2011.02.003.

Pilgrim, E.S. Macleod, C.J.A., Blackwell, M.S.A, Bol, R., Hogan, D.V., Chadwick, D.R, Cardenas, L., Misselbrook, T.M., Haygarth, P.M, Hobbs, P., Jarvis, S., Hodgson, C., Murray, P.J., Firbank, L.G. (2010) Interactions among agricultural production and other ecosystem services delivered from European Grasslands Advances in Agronomy, 109, 118-154.

Potts, S.G., Woodcock, B.A., Roberts, S.P.M., Tscheulin, T., Pilgrim, E.S., Brown, V.K. & Tallowin, J.R. (2009) Enhancing pollinator biodiversity in intensive grasslands. Journal of Applied Ecology, 46(2), 369-79. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2009.01609.x

Woodcock, B.A., Potts, S.G., Tscheulin, T., Pilgrim, E., Ramsey, A., Harrison-Cripps, J., Brown, V.K. & Tallowin, J.R. (2009) Responses of invertebrate trophic level, feeding guild and body size to the management of improved grassland field margins. Journal of Applied Ecology, 46(4), 920-29. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2009.01675.x 

Woodcock, B.A., Potts, S.G, Pilgrim, E.S, Ramsay, A.J., Tscheulin, T., Parkinson, A., Smith, R.E.N, Gundry, A., Brown, V.K. and Tallowin, J.R (2007) The potential of grass field margin management for enhancing beetle diversity in intensive livestock farms. Journal of Applied Ecology 44, 60-69. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2006.01258.x.

Pilgrim, E.S., Crawley, M.J. and Dolphin, K.P. (2004) Patterns of rarity in the native British flora. Biological Conservation, 120,161-170.

ii) Contributions to symposia, reports and compiled volumes
Bol, R., Dunn, R.M. and Pilgrim, E.S. (2011) Managing C and N in grassland systems: the adaptive cycle theory perspective In: Grassland Productivity and Ecosystem Services Lemaire, G., Hodgson, J. and Chabbi, A. (eds). CABI pp73-82.

Firbank, L.G., Bradbury R., McCracken, D., Stoate, C., Goulding, K., Harmer, R., Hess, T., Jenkins, A., Pilgrim, E.S., Potts S., Smith P., Ragab R., Storkey, J. (2010) National Ecosystem Assessment:Enclosed Farmland UNEP-WCMC pp198-200.

Whitmore, A.P., Goulding K.W.T., McGrath, S.P., Whalley, A.P., Bol, R., Pilgrim, E.S., Jones, R.J.A., Ritz, K., Quinton, J. and Gregory A.S. (2010). Defra project SP1601: Soil functions, quality and degradation – studies in support of the implementation of the soil strategy for England. Sub Project B: Investigating The Impacts of soil degradation processes on soil function – a scoping study.

Pilgrim, E.S., Smith, R.S., Shiel, R.S., Tallowin, J.R.B., Mortimer, S.R., Brown, V.K., Harrison, K.A., Hobbs, P.J., Sanderson, R., Harris, S.J., Beaumont, D.A., Murray, A. and Quirk, H. and Bardgett, R.D. (2010). Report for Defra on Objective 2 of BD1451 (part of final report) Diversification of grassland: To quantify the impact of key plant species in the development of fungal dominated soils and the resultant impacts on vegetation community development.

Pilgrim E.S. and Tallowin, J.R.B. (2007) Defra Final report for BD1444: Potential for enhancing biodiversity in intensively managed grasslands.

Conferences
i) Presentations
Bardgett, R.D., Smith, R.S., Shiel, R.S., Tallowin, J.R.B., Mortimer, S.R., Brown, V.K., Pilgrim, E.S., Millward, D., Lawson, C., Harrison, K.A., Edwards, A.E., Hobbs, P.J., Sanderson, R., Harris, S.J., Beaumont, D.A., Murray, A. and Quirk, H. (2012) Plant-soil interactions and grassland diversity restoration In: Restoring diverse grassland: What can be achieved where, and what will it do for us? Oxford, BGS/BES/NE pp. 31-34.

Pilgrim, E.S., Macleod, C.J.A., Beaumont, D., Blackwell, M.S.A., Bol, R., Del Prado, A., Griffith, B., Orr, R., Shepherd, A., Wu, L. and Firbank, L. G.(2010) Learning how to model ecosystem trade-offs at the farm scale. IEMSS Conference, Ottawa, Canada.

Invited speaker Pilgrim E.S., Smith, R.S., Shiel, R.S., Tallowin, J.R.B., Mortimer, S.R., Brown, V.K., Harrison, K.A., Hobbs, P.J., Sanderson, R., Harris, S.J., Beaumont, D.A., Murray, A., Quirk, H. and Bardgett, R.D. (2009) Plant-soil feedback and grassland diversification: effects of single plant species’ University of York, Ecology and Evolution lunch time seminars.

Pilgrim E.S., Firbank, L., Storkey, J., Brookes, P. C. and Murray, P. J. (2009) Can a seedbank exist under land managed as bare-fallow for 50 years? 10th Intecol conference, Brisbane, Australia.

Pilgrim E.S., Smith, R.S., Shiel, R.S., Tallowin, J.R.B., Mortimer, S.R., Brown, V.K., Harrison, K.A., Hobbs, P.J., Sanderson, R., Harris, S.J., Beaumont, D.A., Murray, A. and Quirk, H. and Bardgett, R.D. (2009) Plant-soil feedback and grassland diversification: effects of single plant species BD14 meeting.

Bardgett, R.D., Smith, R.S., Shiel, R.S., Tallowin, J.R.B., Mortimer, S.R., Brown, V.K., Pilgrim, E.S., Millward, D., Lawson, C., Harrison, K.A., Edwards, A.E., Hobbs, P.J., Sanderson, R., Harris, S.J., Beaumont, D.A., Murray, A. and Quirk, H. (2007) Diversification of grassland through the manipulation of plant-soil interactions: The DIGFOR experiment. In: High value grassland. Keele, April 2007, BGS/BES/BSAS. pp. 123-128.

ii) Posters
Beaumont, D.A., Tallowin, J.R.B., Dunn, R.M., Pilgrim, E.S. and Bardgett, R.D. (2012) Negative impact of facilitator plant species on floral diversity. In: Restoring diverse grassland: What can be achieved where, and what will it do for us? Oxford, BGS/BES/NE pp. 157-163.

Pilgrim, E.S., Hodgson, C., Cazenave, A.B. and Thornton, C.R. (2010). Are fungi required for the successful germination of grassland plant species? IMC9 The biology of fungi conference, Edinburgh

Pilgrim, E.S., Storkey, J., Hirsch, P., Clark, I.M., Gilliam, L.M., Sohi, S.P., Murray, P.J.(2009) Highfield Experiment, ANAEE final Opening meeting 24-25th November 2009.

Pilgrim E.S., Potts, S.G., Vickery J., Parkinson A.E., Woodcock B.A., Holt C., Gundrey, A., Ramsay A.J., Atkinson P., Fuller R. and Tallowin, J.R.B. (2007) Enhancing wildlife in the margins of intensively managed fields. In: High value grassland. Keele, April 2007, BGS/BES/BSAS. pp.293-296.

Pilgrim E.S , Smith R.S., Bardgett R.D., Mortimer S.R., Beaumont D.A., Millward D., Lawson C., Harrison K.A., Edwards A.E., Quirk H. and Tallowin J.R.B. (2007) Establishing links between floral diversity and soil phosphorus availability over a range of different grasslands. In: High value grassland. Keele, April 2007, BGS/BES/BSAS. pp. 297-300.

Mortimer, S.R., Tallowin, J.R.B., Smith, R.S., Lawson, C.S., Harris, S.J., Pilgrim, E.S., Murray, A., Young, K., Simkin, J.M., Harrison, K., Quirk, H. and Bardgett, R. (2007) Impact of facilitator plant species on the enhancement of botanical diversity of species-poor grasslands. In: High value grassland. Keele, April 2007, BGS/BES/BSAS. pp. 285-288.

Pilgrim, E.S., Parkinson, A.E., Gundrey, A.L. and Tallowin, J.R.B (2006) Grassland farms as refuges for arable plants British Ecological Society AGM September, 2006.