Dr Sneha Gupta

Post doctoral researcher - Theme 2 and 3

Sneha works in close collaboration with Prof Uta Wille, Prof Michelle Watt and Prof Ute Roessner. Sneha uses the microcosms, called ‘EcoFAB’ to test the effects of plants on the nitrogen (N) movement from soil to plant without and with inhibitors (including the commercial inhibitors NBPT and DMPP) in Australian soils. The current project she is working on, is in conjunction with international collaboration with Forschungszentrum Juelich GmbH, Germany. Her current goal is to gain the fundamental understanding of the spatial and temporal interplay of urease and nitrification inhibitors with plants and N uptake by roots to develop design principles for inhibitors with improved efficiency. These compounds will be tested by phenotyping N uptake by roots and shoots using a highly controlled plant growth system, with particular focus on Australian soils.

Sneha completed her PhD at Melbourne University in 2020 under Prof Ute Roessner working on soil salinity, an important problem that impacts agriculture globally. She believes that a sustainable approach for improving productivity is to adopt beneficial microorganisms to enhance the supply of soil nutrients to plants in stressful environments. Her work showed that the fungus Trichoderma harzianum T-22 enhances barley crop growth and nutrient uptake in saline conditions. The fungus symbiotically lives inside the roots and triggers beneficial biochemical and metabolic changes and the project has broad implications for applying plant-microbe interactions to agricultural productivity. With her expertise in plant biochemistry, plant physiology and root biology, she joined Roessner Group as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow after completion in 2020.

School of Biosciences, Faculty of Science, The University of Melbourne

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