NSF DDIG for Van Nuland
Michael Van Nuland (Schweitzer Lab) has been awarded a Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant from the National Science Foundation.
The goal of his project is to understand the mechanistic basis of plant genetic-by-soil microbial phylogenetic-by-abiotic environment interactions that will determine plant and soil function across important gradients of global change (e.g., temperature, H2O, and soil nitrogen [N]). The results will provide managers fundamental insights into how plants, as mediated by the diversity of the soil community, respond to abiotic stress and new tools to mitigate environmental change by identifying genotypes with high plant productivity, accelerated phenology, consistent soil conditioning, and positive feedbacks in different environments. Identification of soil microorganisms that influence plant traits, such as signaling the timing of bud break and initiation of the growing season, will be applicable to a wide range of global change issues.