Researcher biography

Project title:

Biocrust microorganisms and their function in Australian savanna grazing lands

Project description:

Australian rangelands are used extensively for grazing livestock, which accumulate resources from their environment without replacement. Soil microorganisms help to replenish these resources (e.g. via biological nitrogen fixation) and may be influenced by management practices, such as fire and grazing intensity. Here, I aim to determine the influence of these practices on rangeland ecosystems, with a focus on the diversity and function of soil microbial communities, so-called biocrusts, and their associations with ecosystem services. I will also evaluate the feasibility of manipulating these communities to enhance nutrient inputs. This will inform the development of best practice management of Australian rangelands.