Dr Bas Boots

Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Science and Engineering
Life Sciences
Research Supervision:

Bas is a soil ecologist by training, who enjoys exploring links between ecosystem functioning and microbes in a wide variety of habitats. His approach is interdisciplinary; merging ecology, microbiology, environmental science and biogeochemistry.

[email protected]

View Bas's profile on ResearchGate


Bas joined ARU in February 2019 as a Lecturer in Biology. Prior to this he was already responsible for several modules as associate lecturer. Bas previously worked as a post-doc at the Department of Life Sciences at the University of Warwick and the School of Biosystems Engineering at University College Dublin, both large international and interdisciplinary projects funded by the EU.

Bas enjoys teaching and endeavours to incorporate progress of current research into his teaching so he can offer our students research-led content on the most up-to-date state of knowledge. He is a member of the Applied Ecology Research Group and the Biomedical Research Group.

Spoken Languages

English, Dutch

Research interests

Bas research interests are interdisciplinary and are related to linking microbes, animals, plants and ecosystem functioning: from genes to ecosystems including environmental science, soil ecology, anthropogenic pollution, microbiology, ecosystem functioning, molecular techniques. During his academic career he has worked on exploring:

  • Relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.
  • Relationships between microbial communities and animals & their diet including insects, bivalves and cattle.
  • Anthropogenic disturbances and soil ecology.
  • Biogeochemistry, biodiversity and ecology of soils, water and sediment.
  • Development of technologies to detect pathogens and parasites in the environment.
  • Effects of microplastic pollution on ecosystems.
Areas of research supervision

Bas welcomes applications from undergraduate and postgraduate students interested in carrying out research projects in areas of biology and/or ecology.

He currently supervises several BSc and MSc students, and has published work from several honours projects in impactful scientific journals.

He is also currently supervising four PhD students working on:

  • Microplastic pollution and remediation in soil ecosystems
  • Mechanistic effects of microplastics on soil & plant health
  • Pathways to improve poor soils with sustainable organic amendments
  • Optimisation of siderophore production by environmental bacteria

Bas has led several different modules so far and this academic year is leading the following: 

BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour, BSc (Hons) Ecology and Conservation and BSc (Hons) Zoology lecturer for:

  • MOD007178 Principles of Biology.
  • MOD007180 Animal Health & Disease.

MSc Animal Behaviour Applications for Conservation and MSc Applied Wildlife Conservation lecturer for:

  • MOD003371 Research Methods
  • MSc in Soil Water Atmosphere (Environmental Sciences), Wageningen University, Wageningen the Netherlands.
  • PhD in Environmental Microbiology, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.
  • PG Cert. in Higher Education, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK.
Memberships, editorial boards
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Selected recent publications

Boots, B. (2022). Implication of microplastics on soil functioning and faunal communities. Emerging Topics in Life Science, ETLS20220023.

Green, D., Tongue, A., Boots, B. (2021) The ecological impacts of discarded cigarette butts. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 37, 183-192.

Green, D., Kegting, L., Boots, B., 2021. Effects of cigarette butts on marine keystones species (Ulva lactuca, L. and Mytilus edulis L.) and sediment microphytobenthos. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 165, 115152.

Green, D., Jefferson, M., Boots, B., Stone, L., 2021. All that glitters is litter? Ecological impacts of conventional versus biodegradable glitter in a freshwater habitat. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 402, 124070.

Green D. S., Kregting L., Boots B., 2020. Smoked cigarette butt leachate impacts survival and behaviour of freshwater invertebrates. Environmental Pollution, 266, 115285.

Boots, B., Russell, C. W., Green, D. S., 2019. Effects of microplastics in soil ecosystems: Above and below ground. Environmental Science and Technology, 53.

Green, D., Boots, B., Da Silva Carvalho, J., Starkey, T., 2019. Cigarette butts have adverse effects on initial growth of perennial ryegrass (gramineae: Lolium perenne L.) and white clover (leguminosae: Trifolium repens L.). Exotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 182, 109418.

Green, D., Kregting, L., Boots, B., Blockley, D., Brickle, P., da Costa, M., Crowley, Q., 2018. A comparison of sampling methods for seawater microplastics and a first report of the microplastic litter in coastal waters of Ascension and Falkland Islands. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 137.

Keith, A. M., Boots, B., Stromberger, M. E., Schmidt, O., 2018. Consequences of long-term anecic earthworm removal for earthworm assemblages and nutrient cycling in a grassland. Pedobiologia, 66, pp. 65-73.

Green, D., Christie, H., Pratt, N., Boots, B., Godbold, J., Solan, M., 2017. Effects of elevated temperature and atmospheric CO2 on the health and functioning of competing oysters. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 582, pp. 93-103.

D’Ugo, E., Marcheggiani, S., Giuseppetti, R., Boots, B., Sdanganelli, M., Grasso, C., Magurano, F., Mancini, L., 2017. Detection of Coxiella burnetii in urban river water. Vector-borne and Zoonotic Diseases, 17, pp. 514-516.

Green, D., Boots, B., O’Connor, N., Thompson, R., 2017. Microplastics affect the ecological functioning of an important biogenic habitat. Environmental Science and Technology, 51, pp. 68-77.

Recent presentations and conferences
Bas has presented some recent research on microplastics and cigarette butts on TV, radio and various online media.
Media experience
Bas has presented some of ARU’s most recent research on microplastics and cigarette butts on TV, radio and various online media.