This autumn the Soil Science cluster is strengthened by two new PhD colleagues: Karen Moran Rivera and Doina Mani. They will work on projects based on two proposals in the ‘Carbon management and climate change’ and ‘Multifunctional land evaluation’ research lines.
Interaction between biological and chemical processes in response to climate warming
In October Karen Moran Rivera started her PhD project at the interface between soil chemistry and soil biology. Her research aims to understand how biological and chemical processes interact to shape the response of soil CO2 emissions to climate warming. Accuracy in modelling this response (the so-called climate-carbon feedback) is critical to determine not only the future atmospheric CO2 levels and climate change, but also soil organic matter levels under different climate warming scenarios. In addition to this, modelling can determine the potential for various land managements to provide soil carbon sequestration as a climate change mitigation and adaptation strategy.
Carbon management and climate change
This project is a collaboration between the Soil Chemistry & Chemical Quality and Soil Biology groups of Wageningen University & Research, to strengthen the research line Carbon management and climate change of the Soil Science cluster.
Karen Moran Rivera: “I like how the Soil Science cluster has a multidisciplinary approach to create knowledge. I am also impressed by the sense of community between the soil groups. In terms of research, I am eager to learn new skills and techniques that will help us understand how soils behave in a warmer climate.”
Understanding soil functional diversity
In November Doina Mani will start her PhD project that aims to better understand soil functional biogeography. The project will provide insight into what drives the distribution of soil functional diversity - from local to continental scale - and quantify the role of land use and land management on soil functional diversity.
Our new colleague will dig into this emerging field by modelling soil functional diversity as a function of pedodiversity and soil forming factors. This will be done through mapping soil functional diversity across heterogenous landscapes, assessing the impact of agricultural land use and management on soil functional diversity and exploring pathways for integrating soil biology into ecosystem service assessments.
Multifunctional land evaluation
This project is a collaboration between the Soil Geography & Landscape and Soil Biology groups of Wageningen University & Research, to strengthen the research line Multifunctional land evaluation of the Soil Science cluster.