I joined the Soil Biology group in 2019 after a PhD and 3 years of post-doctoral rersearch in New Zeland with the University of Canterbury and Landacre Research.
My research to date has focused on the fundamental processes regulating soil organic matter (SOM) dynamics. More specifically, I conducted experiments aiming at understanding the interacting roles of soil microbial ecology and soil physico-chemical processes in regulating the response of SOM decomposition to environmental changes (increasing temperatures) and agricultural practices (diversification, irrigation, fertilisation). Soil organic matter is key to soil sustainability and contributes significantly to climate regulation by acting as a source or a sink of atmospheric carbon. Research on soil carbon cycling and soil organic matter is a fast evolving field in which long-held assumptions are being challenged and emerging views are uncovering fascinating questions. Many of these questions are yet to be resolved, and many more are yet to be asked. I want part of my research to keep pursuing answers and questions on this topic, simply to understand how soils work, and for unearthing knowledge on which decisions and policies on land management should be resting. More specifically, my research continues along three broad axes:
- Understanding the role of soil microbes and their diversity on the formation and stabilisation of SOM.
- Understanding the effect of climate warming on SOM dynamics in order to predict whether soils will enhance or mitigate global rising temperatures.
- Quantifying how management practices (particularly agroforestry) can maximise synergies between agricultural production and environmental sustainability (economic, social and environemtal).