Researcher biography

Dr Cristina Martinez is a Lecturer in Soil Fertility working within the Soil Science group. Her background is in Environmental Science, in particular, the biogeochemical cycling of C in soils. Her PhD research focused on understanding the spatio-temporal distribution of soil C, and the main factors contributing to the storage of organic C in soils, which is important for the reduction of atmospheric CO2 concentration as well as mitigating climate change induced effects. Dr. Martinez has experience in a range of soil-related topics, including the quantification of soil erosion using radioactive caesium-137 (137Cs), spatio-temporal dynamics of soil moisture and temperature at the catchment scale, and remotely sensed data (e.g. MODIS-NDVI and Landsat) for quantifying above-ground (and below-ground, indirectly) vegetation patterns. Prior to joining UQ, Dr Martinez worked for the Italian National Research Council (CNR) within the Institute for Biometeorology (IBIMET) and the Forests and Biogeochemical Cycles group at the Fondazione Edmund Mach (FEM) in northern Italy (2010 - 2015). During this time Dr Martinez worked on projects using stable C isotopes (δ13C) to investigate below-ground carbon dynamics in a range of different land use types (forest, alpine grassland, vineyard, apple orchard), as well as investigating ecosystem respiration rates in forest and alpine grassland ecosystems, including the use of carbon-14 isotope (∆14C) data to derive SOM-derived soil CO2 efflux in addition to soil carbon stocks data. Dr Martinez was also involved in the EU-funded project EUROCHAR (Development of technologies for long-term carbon sequestration), examining the long-term stability of charcoal in the environment, comparing fossil charcoals (archaeological pits) in Val di Pejo (TN, Italy) with modern biochar products. Dr Martinez has published 16 scientific research papers in several high-impact journals including Geoderma, PLOS ONE, Plant and Soil, Water Resources Research, and Hydrological Processes. Her qualifications include a PhD-Environmental Science and B Environmental Science (Honours).

Areas of research