Abundant and occupying every trophic group (bacterivores, fungivores, herbivores and omnivore-predators), nematodes dominate the soil biosphere, regulating and influencing microbes through their interactions in the food chain. However, nematode classification and monitoring techniques are still limited, creating a knowledge gap surrounding the scale of these interactions, the mechanisms behind their action, and their effects on nutrient cycling processes. In Shuo’s research, two methods to observational methods will be employed; the conventional morphological method, and the advanced molecular method. These methods will be combined to provide more accurate data and explore changes in nematodes communities. This approach may also improve understanding of how nematodes influence nutrient cycling, especially nitrogen fixation, by suppressing predator pressure on functional bacteria and fungi.
Shuo Na is a current PhD student supervised by Dr Hang-Wei Hu at the University of Melbourne. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the China University of Mining and Technology, Beijing (Beijing, China) in 2019, and a master’s degree in science from Nankai University (Tianjin, China) and the University of Glasgow (Glasgow, Scotland) in 2021. Her master’s focused on the effect of additives on bacterial functional communities in paddy soils during wet-dry cycles. Shuo also has experience in soil microcosm culturing and molecular microbiology study.