Bio

I work as an agricultural biodiversity researcher at Louis Bolk Institute, with a focus on aboveground biodiversity; namely plants and insects. I am currently working to set up projects along this research trajectory.

Previously, I worked as a soil ecologist at Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture. I tested the efficacy of biological reagents and biostimulants in preventing root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne spp.) damage in chrysanthemums. I also researched the effect of contrasting management regimes (conventional, organic and hybrid between the two) on relationships between soil abiotic and biotic characteristics and the tulip bulb microbiome. Beforehand, I was a postdoctoral researcher at the NIOO in Wageningen with Martijn Bezemer. I was part of a field-based experiment exploring how temporal conditioning and plant species community composition impacts on soil legacy effects. Earlier, I was a postdoc at the University of Manchester working with Richard Bardgett. I investigated how above- and belowground plant functional trait diversity affects green house gas emissions, litter decomposition, nutrient cycling, and soil legacy/maternity effects in managed semi-natural grasslands near Selside, England.

I completed my PhD at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Umeå, Sweden with David Wardle as my main advisor and my co-supervisors were Ellen Dorrepaal, Paul Kardol, Marie-Charlotte Nilsson Hegerthorn and Reiner Giesler. My research focused primarily on plant and soil community responses to climate change along environmental gradients. Two of my thesis chapters were based on research from along a subarctic elevational gradient near Abisko, Sweden, where I conducted research examining the abiotic and biotic soil drivers of plant growth and the response of plant defence compounds to nutrient addition and elevation. My other two chapters involved a post-fire successional chronosequence in the boreal forest near Arvidsjaur, Sweden, where I looked at plant/soil community and decomposition/nutrient cycling responses to increased temperature and functional plant group manipulation.

My research interests include:

  • Abiotic/biotic controls of plant invasion

  • Above- and belowground interactions

  • Agricultural biodiversity

  • Environmental gradients as drivers of plant & soil communities

  • Nematode-plant interactions

  • Plant-soil-climate feedbacks

  • Plant defence compounds

  • Plant-mycorrhizae interactions

  • Plant traits as drivers of ecosystem processes

  • Soil legacy effects

  • Sustainable crop production

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