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I am a plant ecologist and my current work is investigating the effect of drought on plant-soil interactions. I am particularly interested in learning more about how plant root exudates mediate soil microbial diversity and function under water stress, and the feedbacks the microbial community have on plants.
My research is focused on the Mediterranean-climate region, which is expected to see a 30-45% decrease in summer precipitation by the end of this century. This region is a conservation priority as it contains high plant diversity including many endemic species.
An increase in extreme drought events could have negative impacts on biodiversity and soil quality in both natural and agricultural habitats. Any attempt to mitigate these effects will require a thorough understanding of drought impacts on plants and soils and also the complex interactions between the two.
I was previously at the University of Sheffield (UK) where my research included the effects of climate change on sub-Arctic plant communities and plant traits associated with crop domestication.