Life, Death & Decay: The Science of Compost takes you on a journey into the underworld of composting. Doberski explains the science of what goes on but also promotes interest in the living organisms who provide the 'hard graft' of transforming waste organic matter. It can be hard to envisage the hundreds, thousands or millions of different organisms involved but Life, Death & Decay reveals the secrets of this hidden world.
Gardeners are familiar with the magic of compost and it is easy to see what goes in – organic waste – and what comes out – wonderful, friable and fertile compost – but what magic causes that to happen? Doberski explains what kind of 'mysterious' and complex chemical, physical and biological processes contribute to make composting effective. He covers the structural nature of decaying and dead plant material, the micro-organisms and invertebrates contributing to decomposition, and the combination of chemical, physical and biological factors which determine rates of decay.
Although not a practical manual of composting, by explaining the science of what goes on in composting Doberski provides pointers to gardeners for getting composting right.
Julian Doberski has degrees in Zoology (BSc Southampton), Forestry (MSc Oxford) and a PhD in biological control of insects using fungi (Cambridge). He has thirty years of teaching experience at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge (and its predecessor institutions) where he was a Principal Lecturer in Ecology. He has jointly published a resource pack for A level ecology students and a range of scientific research and science in education papers. He is currently retired and lives in Cambridgeshire.