My research focuses on the organisms that live in the soil, such as fungi, bacteria, nematodes, mites, and many, many more barely visible creatures. These organisms perform key processes of carbon and nutrient cycling that underlie important ecosystem services such as climate mitigation, food production, and supporting aboveground biodiversity. However, climate change, land use change, agricultural intensification, and the loss and gain of plant species all threaten the diversity and functioning of soil communities, with direct consequences for the functions they perform. Through my research, I want to find out how these human-induced disturbances affect soil communities, and how we can protect these to conserve our ecosystems, mitigate climate change, and to make agriculture more sustainable. You can read more about my research in the tab “Research interests”.
In addition to my research, I am passionate about instilling an appreciation of soils in the wider public, and about training the next generation of grounded soil scientists who will tackle our grand challenges of sustainable food production, conserving biodiversity, and climate mitigation and adaptation.
I am also a strong proponent of diversity, equity, and transparency in academia and STEM. I blog about these issues, about my science, and about academia in general.