Nutrient deficiencies and drought are major agricultural constraints. Fertilisers and irrigation help to alleviate these issues, but rely on non-renewable resources and contribute to environmental degradation. By 2050 there will be nine billion people on Earth, which places food security at the top of society’s challenges for this century. Soils harbour a wide variety of microbial taxa that significantly enhance plant nutrient acquisition and drought tolerance. These organisms could be used to more sustainably maintain, or enhance, global food security.

In this project, microbes will be isolated from the roots of stressed plants and then screened for attributes that promote plant fitness under drought and nutrient stress.

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