Projects

2019-ongoing Circadian rhythms in rice rhizosphere biogeochemical cycling

Collaborators: Kankan Zhao, Bin Ma

Description:

Research currently being conducted at Zhejiang University, Hangzhou as part of my Postdoctoral Fellowship. Supervisor: Bin Ma; PhD candidate: Kankan Zhao.

Circadian rhythms in biogeochemical cycling are a logical continuation of the current studies in the area. In rice paddy environments in particular, the daily flux of root exudates and oxygen seem likely to affect the geochemistry of these environments. This work is on a similar theme as previous projects, including the soil microbial relations in acid sulfate soils project, the acid sulfate microbial review (ongoing), and the drought in wetland soils geochemistry review (ongoing).

Outputs:

  • This project is currently at the data analyses stage.

2019-ongoing Wet soil microbial ecology, geochemistry, and management in a changing climate

Collaborators: Luke Mosley, Rob Fitzpatrick, and Timothy Cavagnaro

Description:

Research currently being undertaken via affiliation with The University of Adelaide.

Wet soils are hotspots of biogeochemical activity where oxygen availability and water interactions drive microbial communities. Given the ‘right’ conditions, soil microbes can be responsible for significant wetland and stream degradation events. In a time of increasing environmental stress and decreasing water availability we are questioning how soil ecology is interacting with these changes, and what management strategies can be reasonably implemented for the most reasonable environmental outcomes.

Outputs:

  • Article under review: Drought effects on wet soils in inland wetlands and peatlands
  • Article in preparation: Missed connections: understanding mineral soil microbial function and drivers to inform freshwater wetland management

2015-2019 Nutrient cycling between litters and soil after fire in native woodland and Pinus radiata plantations

Collaborators: Timothy R Cavagnaro, Ronald Smernik, and Lynne Macdonald

Description:

Research project conducted at The University of Adelaide, Australia, for my PhD. Initially conducted under the supervision of Prof. Petra Marschner & Tim Cavagnaro; subsequently conducted under the supervision of Tim Cavagnaro, Ron Smernik, and Lynne Macdonald.

This project initially sought to investigate the effects of fire on nutrient cycling in a small selection of soils, however those soils proved to be strongly resilient to the effects of a natural fire and the project instead focussed on fire/litter/soil relationships. Nitrogen in particular became the nutrient of interest as plant available/resin phosphorus content in these soils was extremely low. This project is closed as of February 2019, however the ideas raised in this project may be revisited in the future.

Outputs:

  • Article: Divergent responses of soil microbial community after amendment with thermally altered Pinus radiata needles
  • Article: Fire influences needle decomposition: tipping point in Pinus radiata carbon chemistry and soil nitrogen transformations
  • Article: The effect of fire affected Pinus radiata litter and char addition on soil nitrogen cycling
  • Article: Post fire litters are richer in water soluble carbon and lead to increased microbial activity

2018-2019 Soil microbial relations in acid sulfate soils

Collaborators: Laura Weyrich, Luke Mosley, Brett Thomas, Jasmin Packer, Rob Fitzpatrick, and Timothy R Cavagnaro

Description:

Small research project conducted at The University of Adelaide under contract to the Government of South Australia. This research was conducted during a Leave of Absence from my PhD.

My part in this project was to review the literature available on soil microbial processes and functions in relation to acid sulfate soils and their management. This review was then used to make research and management recommendations. This report was submitted in 2018, however, as of Feb 2019, it does not appear to have been published. We continue working on this project by preparing a review article on the subject.

Outputs:

  • Report: Soil microbial investigation: assessing microbial function in soils with different inundation contexts
  • Report: Acid sulfate soils: field report on microbial communities

2013-2014 Gulf St. Vincent salt marsh carbon stock and sequestration rate measured at Middle Beach, SA

Collaborators: Sabine Dittmann, Erick Bestland, and Richard Davies

Description:

Small research project conducted at Flinders University of South Australia, Australia, during my Masters degree. My role in this project was to determine sedimentation rates of coastal muds in a salt marsh swamp in Gulf St. Vincent, South Australia. At that time, little research had been conducted in mineral (i.e. mud) dominated marshes and sediment accumulation (or erosion) was an unknown property of the area.

Outputs:

  • Technical Report: Carbon burial and sediment accumulation rates in coastal salt marsh sediments on Adelaide’s north shores