LF (Luis Fernando) Merloti

LF (Luis Fernando) Merloti

PhD student

Personal page at NIOO

Research:

I'm an agronomist, with a master's degree in Biology in Agriculture and Environment, both graduated in Brazil. I have experience in seeds, crops, soil research, molecular analysis, and a beginner in data science and analytics. I have been working not only in the laboratory but also in the field, as Amazon and Atlantic Forest. Putting all the skills together, I can describe myself as a Microbial Ecologist studying the complexity of the soil microbiome. I am currently working at NIOO as a Research Assistant in the Department of Terrestrial Ecology.

A brief context about my current research: Brazil's Atlantic rainforest biome has lost around 87% of its natural vegetation. Most of those areas were converted to pastures and sugarcane plantations. In this sense, the remaining natural forests, or those restored, are fundamental for the region's ecosystems' functioning. So, the project aims to evaluate the effects of forest restoration methodologies on soil microbial and micro-faunal communities in Atlantic Forest regions, including nematodes. We want to access their structure and composition and their potential functions and interactions in this complex environment. Furthermore, we want to integrate knowledge from above and below ground to optimize forest restoration projects. This data can be crucial knowledge to leverage political, financial, and societal support to encourage and expand the restoration in Brazilian Atlantic Forest.