Fungi play a key role in terrestrial biogeochemical cycles as they are the primary decomposers of the complex organic matter present in soils. They are also involved in the dissolution and biogenesis of minerals in soils and substantially contribute to soil structure formation through the secretion of extracellular polymeric substances and through the binding of soil through their belowground mycelia. Whereas much attention is being paid to quantifying pools and fluxes of carbon a nutrients in soils at an ecosystem level, the microbial molecular mechanisms that are responsible for driving these processes are still poorly understood and are typically treated as a black box. In my research, I seek to obtain a better mechanistic understanding of the interactions between fungi and soils at a microscopic and molecular level to shed light on this black box. For this purpose, I have been developing spectroscopic microscopy methods that allow the chemical interactions between fungal cells and soil to be visualised in situ. Currently, I am particularly interested in how and to what extent fungal extracellular polymeric substance matrices (the slime layer that surrounds fungal cells) are involved in soil organic matter decomposition, and interactions with minerals. Recent evidence suggests that these fungal slime layers play a much more important role in altering the rates at which various soil processes proceed than has previously been appreciated. Improving our understanding of soil microbial processes, in turn, can help inform models that seek to predict and quantify future changes in soil carbon and nutrient pools and fluxes in response to a changing climate.
I have been studying the interactions between fungi and soils since my PhD studies from 2009 to 2014. During my PhD, I investigated the effects of heavy metal pollution in soils on fungal community structures and the molecular mechanisms that evolved in soil-dwelling fungi to survive high concentrations of toxic metals. Since 2014, I started working as a post-doc at Lund University. During my post-doctoral research, I started investigating the mechanisms fungi use to decompose soil organic matter and dissolve iron oxide minerals using a range of spectroscopic microscopy techniques.
Displaying of publications. Sorted by year, then title.