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Martha Crockatt

Research Manager


Martha Crockatt- Sustainable Agriculture Research Manager at Earthwatch.

Martha Crockatt is a Research Manager in Sustainable Agriculture at Earthwatch Europe. 

Martha has a BSc Hons in Biological Sciences from Cardiff University, which included a placement year in organic agriculture research at the Henry Doubleday Research Association (now Garden Organic). Her PhD, completed in 2008, on the ecology and lifecycles of endangered UK wood decay fungi, is also from Cardiff University. 

Following a postdoc studying the links between herb layer biodiversity and leaf lipid biochemistry in woodlands, Martha first joined Earthwatch in 2010 as a Research Assistant on the HSBC Climate Partnership programme. During her time at Earthwatch Martha has: 

  • Managed a long term forest carbon cycling project in Wytham Woods
  • Investigated the impact of seed source on ash responses to climate
  • Overseen a desk-based study into the relative climate change impacts of paper-based vs plastic packaging
  • Developed novel research on preventing soil erosion impacts within the sustainable agriculture programme

Whilst conducting these research programmes, Martha worked frequently with citizen scientists - encompassing employees from corporate partners, teachers and members of the public - developing data collection methods that can be taught quickly and effectively to non-scientists, but that still generate data of publishable-quality. 

Martha is a key member of the sustainable agriculture team at Earthwatch, developing relationships and projects with wide-ranging partners including social scientists, farmers, NGOs and corporate partners. 

As well as research and citizen science, Martha has lead workshops using innovative methods to achieve impacts, including an introduction to Lego Serious Play for addressing challenging questions at the British Ecological Society’s 2018 annual meeting. Martha also led workshops at Woodlands of the Future and was involved in a multi-stakeholder one day workshop, held in 2017, identifying key challenges to the future of UK woodlands.



  • 2016-present: Member and ECSA liaison of the CSA’s international Data and Metadata Working Group

  • 2016-present: Wytham Woods Steering Group committee member.

  • 2015-present: Communications rep for British Ecological Society’s Forest Ecology Special Interest Group

  • 2017-2019: Outreach officer on British Mycological Society’s Fungal Education and Outreach committee

  • 2018-present & 2012-2014: East Oxford Farmers and Community Market Committee member

Research interests

  • Forest carbon cycling
  • The role of trees in agricultural landscapes
  • Sustainable agricultural practises that protect soil
  • Citizen science, and engaging “problem owners” in research development
  • Fungal ecology



Edge Effects on Moisture Reduce Wood Decomposition Rate in a Temperate Forest. Global Change Biology 21, pp. 698-707

Crockatt, M. E., and Bebber D.P., 2015

Landscape-Scale Implications of the Edge Effect on Soil Fauna Activity in a Temperate Forest. Ecosystems 29, pp. 1–11

Riutta T., Clack H., Crockatt M.E., and Slade E.M., 2015

Ground Based LiDAR Demonstrates the Legacy of Management History to Canopy Structure and Composition across a Fragmented Temperate Woodland. Forest Ecology and Management 335, pp.255–60

McMahon S.M., Bebber D.P., Butt N., Crockatt M.E., Kirby K., Parker G.G., Riutta T., and Slade E.M. (2015)

Stable Forest Carbon Stocks Support Current Assumption of Biogenic Carbon Neutrality in the Case of European-Manufactured Beverage Cartons. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 21, pp. 118–28

O’Sullivan, O.S., Hopkinson L., Crockatt M.E., Laird P., and Bebber D.P., 2015

Relationships between Tree Growth and Weather Extremes: Spatial and Interspecific Comparisons in a Temperate Broadleaf Forest. Forest Ecology and Management 334, pp. 209–16

Butt, N., Bebber D.P., Riutta T., Crockatt M.E., Morecroft M.D. and Malhi Y., 2014

Are There Edge Effects on Forest Fungi and If so Do They Matter? Fungal Biology Reviews 26, pp.94–101

Crockatt, M.E. (2012)

Ecology of Hericium cirrhatum, H. coralloides and H. erinaceus in the UK. Fungal Ecology 4, pp. 163-173

Boddy L., M.E. Crockatt, Ainsworth A.M., 2011

The rare oak polypore Piptoporus quercinus: population structure, spore germination and growth. Fungal Ecology 3: 94-106

Crockatt M.E., Allum L., Campbell A. and Boddy L., 2010

Homokaryons are more combative than heterokaryons of Hericium coralloides. Fungal Ecology 1: 40-48

Crockatt M.E., Pierce G., Allum L., Campbell A. and Boddy L., 2008


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