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This Week’s Discoveries | 14 June 2016

Tuesday 14 June 2016

First Lecture

Title: Do mycorrhizal fungi mediate soil carbon fate?
Speaker: Nadia Soudzilovskaia (CML)

Nadia is a tenure track assistant professor Stress Ecology in the Conservation Biology Department of CML. Nadia investigates the relationships between plant-soil interactions and biogeochemical processes, and the impact of (multiple) human-induced stresses on these relationships. She is interested in global distribution patterns of distinct mycorrhizal types and ecological drivers of these patterns and impacts of mycorrhizal fungi on biogeochemical cycling at ecosystem and global scale. Nadia received a VIDI grant from NWO last month.

Soil carbon sequestration is an important but hardly understood mechanism counterbalancing atmospheric CO2 emissions and thereby climate change. Poor understanding of soil carbon budget is a key gap in our knowledge about fundamental principles of Earth biogeochemical cycling, preventing taking land management actions to reduce terrestrial carbon emissions. An important biotic determinant of soil carbon transformations is mycorrhiza, a plant-fungal symbiosis featured by nearly all vascular plants on Earth. Mycorrhizae have different forms, among which arbuscular (AM) and ectomycorrhizal (EM) are the most wide-spread. Growing evidence suggests that vegetation stands featuring either mycorrhizal type differently relate to principle aspects of belowground carbon accumulation processes. However, the mechanisms through which different mycorrhizal fungi cause differential impacts on soil carbon cycling, and implications thereof are unclear. In this talk I will introduce my recently awarded vidi grant proposal aiming to reveal if and how AM and EM fungi differently affect soil carbon cycling processes.

Second Lecture

Title: Science Based Business in Leiden; A research agenda focused on the interface between science, innovation, and business development.
Speaker: Simcha Jong ( LIACS, Science Based Business)

Simcha joined Leiden University in 2016 as Professor and Director of Science Based Business. He is responsible for developing new research, teaching, and outreach activities in management for the Faculty of Science. Simcha’s research group studies innovation processes in science-based industries, and the changing dynamics governing academic work.

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