Parvinder Kaur Sidhu
Investigating the fate and behavior of nitrification inhibitors in the soil systems
Nitrogen (N) is an essential element responsible for plant growth, however, its mismanagement can lead to severe environmental problems. Intensive application of N-based fertilisers has become a common practise to achieve high crop yields. Unfortunately, a large proportion of the applied N is lost to the surroundings causing unwanted consequences. Addition of nitrification inhibitors (NIs) has been recommended as a strategy to minimise N-losses and improve overall N-use efficiency. Current NIs have some limitations and their efficiency varies greatly depending on environmental and edaphic variables, such as pH and temperature. There is a little understanding for the reason behind these inconsistent responses. My project focuses on gaining a deeper understanding of the efficiency, fate and behaviour of NIs in soil systems through degradation studies and thus, designing more efficient NIs.
Parvinder Sidhu is third-year PhD student at the University of Melbourne and her research is an intermix of organic, analytical and soil chemistry. Prior to her PhD, she worked as a research assistant on project involving multi-step synthesis of bicyclic peptides. Her Master’s work focused on gaining a better understanding of the mechanism of radical polymer degradation using mass spectrometry and the distonic radical ion-approach. She wants to inspire young minds through teaching and has also been awarded the best demonstrator award for first-year chemistry. Outside of her work life, she enjoys cooking, travelling, and going on her morning runs.