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I work as a research technician on the BBSRC funding project “The root to stability – the role of plant roots in ecosystem response to climate change”. Within this role, I provide technical support for research in the laboratory, glasshouses and at field sites across the Yorkshire Dales. To satisfy the project aims of understanding how root exudates affect the structure and microbial activity in the surrounding soil, and how this changes during drought and warming, I carry out soil extractions, root scanning, and machine analysis. In particular, I am interested in the wider implications for climate change mitigation in agriculture and conservation.
I studied BSc Ecology and Conservation, and MSc Conservation Biology at university, with previous research in small mammals and woodland dynamics.
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I am a NERC funded PhD student and am looking at how we can reduce the effect of climate change by building soil carbon through the improvement of grassland diversity. Research has shown that restoring grassland diversity increases both soil health and soil carbon storage, however little is known regarding the mechanisms behind this process. Therefore I am particularly interested in how grassland restoration influences the amount and quality of organic matter entering soil, and the microbial processes involved in its breakdown and stabilization.
Prior to this I completed a BSc in biology at Swansea University and MSc in Biodiversity and Conservation at the University of Leeds, where I investigated methods of monitoring the decline of pollinator populations.
I completed my BSc in Biology at the University of Manchester in 2014 before moving on to an MRes course in Ecology and Environment at the University of Sheffield, graduating in August 2016.
I am currently undertaking a BBSRC funded PhD studentship studying the role of root functional traits in moderating soil organic matter dynamics in grassland soils. Using trait based approaches I hope to further the understanding of how variation in root trait syndromes among grassland species can drive changes in organic matter formation, composition and degradation. The overall goal of this project is to generate data that will be used to develop a trait-based framework for predicting how changes in plant community composition can alter the potential for carbon storage within soils.
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I am investigating how above- and below ground plant functional trait diversity affects green house gas emissions, litter decomposition and plant-soil feedbacks in managed semi-natural grasslands near Selside, England.
I recently finished my PhD at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Umeå, Sweden. My research focused primarily on plant and soil community responses to climate change along environmental gradients. Two of my thesis chapters were based on research from along a subarctic elevational gradient near Abisko, Sweden, where I conducted research examining the abiotic and biotic soil drivers of plant growth and the response of plant defence compounds to nutrient addition and elevation. My other two chapters involved a post-fire successional chronosequence in the boreal forest near Arvidsjaur, Sweden, where I looked at plant/soil community and decomposition/nutrient cycling responses to increased temperature and functional plant group manipulation.
My research interests include:
- Abiotic/biotic controls of plant invasion
- Plant-soil-climate feedbacks
- Plant defence compounds
- Plant-mycorrhizae interactions
- Nematode-plant interactions
- Environmental gradients as drivers of plant & soil communities and processes
- Plant traits as drivers of ecosystem processes
For more information, please visit my page here.
I am postdoc researcher in the lab, with Richard Bardgett as supervisor. Here I work in a project entitled “Resistance and resilience of soil microbial communities under intense land use and extreme drought: consequences for ecosystem functioning”. The main objective of this project is to evaluate how changes in the diversity and composition of soil microbial communities (bacteria and fungi) impacts their ability to withstand and recover from repeated perturbations, and understand the consequences of this for ecosystem functioning (nutrient cycling, greenhouse gasses emission, carbon storage, etc.). This project is funded by the “Ramón Areces Foundation”.
Previously I carried out my PhD in the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) and The University Complutense of Madrid in the different determinants for forest regeneration and the potential use of beneficial soil microorganisms for ecological restoration in the Atiquipa Forest of Peru. I evaluated the effect on the main tree species of forest management, abiotic conditions (drought and light stress) and biotic relationships (soil microorganisms).