Erinne Stirling currently works as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. This position is supported by a Chinese Government Funded Foreign Post-Doctoral Fellowship. She is participating in a number of projects, including global microbial network analyses, microbial biogeography, microbial communities in acidified agricultural soils, and circadian rhythms in rice rhizospheres. The circadian rhythm project is the main project she is involved with, working with Kankan Zhao and Bin Ma; it is still in the preliminary planning stage. Note that Erinne remains available for small freelance editorial and research projects.

Prior to her current position at Zhejiang University, Erinne submitted her thesis titled ‘Nutrient Cycling Between Litters and Soil after Fire in Native Woodland and Pinus radiata Plantations’ for the award of Doctor of Philosophy (Sciences) at The University of Adelaide, Australia. During this project, she secured more than $25,000 AUD in additional research and travel funding through several small grants and produced four academic articles: two published in Applied Soil Ecology and Science of the Total Environment, and two currently under review at Microbial Ecology and Soil Biology and Biochemistry. The research conducted during Erinne’s PhD project was on the effects of a recent (2015) fire on soil nutrient cycling and soil ecological processes in two forestry production systems. During this research, unusual nitrogen cycling dynamics were observed which were outside the expected results; these observations may prove to be important insights into nitrogen cycling pathways into the future.

In addition to her PhD, Erinne has also been involved in contractual research work for The University of Adelaide and the Government of South Australia, and has also worked as a freelance researcher and editor. She has taught undergraduate level soil courses at The University of Adelaide, and aims to review at least one article per month.

Statement of career objectives

My core research interest is in discovering the role of soil microbial communities and microbially mediated biogeochemical cycling in disturbed landscapes for the purposes of recovery and remediation. Central to this is the development and application of cutting edge technologies to address questions of applied significance. My research thus far falls into three main areas:

  • Soil ecology and nitrogen cycling in fire affected soils
  • Microbial responses to fire affected organic matter
  • Carbon and nitrogen chemistry of heat affected foliage

I am, however, interested in expanding these areas or diverting into other related areas of research. Research outcomes from research into the role of soil microbes in disturbed landscapes has the potential to inform and direct remediation efforts. Extending understanding of these relationships is therefore an important theme in my research.

Professional memberships

2015–2020 Soil Science AustraliaTreasurer (2017–2018), General Committee Member (2015–2019)

2015–2020 Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand

2017–2020 Ecological Society of Australia

2020 Microbiology Society

2016–2020 Nature Conservation Society of South AustraliaHonorary Secretary (2018–2019), General Committee Member (2016–2019)

2015–2019 Nature Foundation of South Australia