I am a soil ecologist working on developing more sustainable growing practices for glasshouse horticultural production at Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture. My most recent project involved testing the efficacy of different biological agents and biostimulants in preventing root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne spp.) damage in chrysanthemums (link to report can be found here). I am currently researching how contrasting management regimes (conventional, organic and intermediate between the two) influence relationships between soil abiotic and biotic characteristics and thereby tulip health.

Previously, I was a post-doctoral 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. Before that, I was a post doc 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. Work from these projects has been submitted for publication, so please check back for updates in the coming months.

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
  • Plant-soil-climate feedbacks
  • Plant defence compounds
  • Plant-mycorrhizae interactions
  • Nematode-plant interactions
  • Environmental gradients as drivers of plant & soil communities and processes
  • Plant traits as drivers of ecosystem processes
  • Soil legacy effects
  • Sustainable crop production

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