Andy Baird represented water@leeds on a visit to Vietnam before Christmas and was hosted by Vietnam National University of Science (VNU) in Hanoi. Andy gave a keynote paper on the role of tropical peatlands in the global carbon cycle at the 5th International Conference on Vietnamese Studies and was one of a number of international delegates who were invited to discuss their research with the leader of Vietnam. He was also interviewed on Vietnamese television. Andy was joined by Marie Arnaud (School of Geography) in a visit to the Department of Geography at VNU. Marie is studying for a PhD on the ecohydrology of mangrove forests and talked about her research to an audience of staff and MSc and PhD students. Andy also discussed with VNU leaders the prospects for Vietnamese students coming to Leeds for PhD study. After visiting Hanoi, Andy, Marie and colleagues from VNU travelled to mangrove research sites in the south of Vietnam in the Mekong Delta. Marie plans to work on some of the sites that have already been used by VNU researchers. There was widespread destruction of mangrove forests in the Mekong Delta during the US-Vietnam war through spraying by Agent Orange. Since then there has been large-scale restoration (replanting) of the mangrove forests. Marie’s work will consider the success of the restoration and she will study mostly below-ground processes (principally root growth and decay).
Main photograph: Restored mangrove forest (Andy Baird)