Plants exude a complex mixture of organic compounds from their roots, which alter the availability of plant nutrients and fuel-diverse microbial communities that influence plant health and nutrition. Drought affects large areas of agricultural land, and is likely to become even more prevalent with climate change. Drought is likely to strongly influence root exudation but these effects are poorly understood. Changes in root exudation could reduce crop yields by negatively affecting plant nutrient uptake and plant-microbe interactions. For this reason, better understanding of the effects of drought on root exudation is needed to predict future food security.

In this project, you'll grow plants under different water potentials and collect and analyse root exudates using advanced chromatography and mass spectrometry methods

Location: St Lucia

Expected outcomes: experience in and knowledge of modern methods in plant and microbial sciences that may be applied to broader ecological fields as well as industry

Supervisors: Dr Paul Dennis

Before you apply: contact the primary supervisor for more details

Project members

Dr Paul Dennis

Lecturer in Soil Science
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences