Doctor Catarina Martins

Dr Catarina Martins joined HIE as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in November 2017 within the Soil Biology & Genomics research theme. She is currently working on a Discovery project funded by the ARC under the supervision of Prof. Brajesh Singh, and in collaboration with Prof. Peter Reich and Dr. Manuel Delgado Baquerizo. The project aims to investigate how microbial and plant diversity interact to regulate ecosystems multifunctionality.

She was awarded her PhD degree in Soil Sciences at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment (HIE) in 2016 under the supervision of Prof. Brajesh Singh, Dr. Catriona Macdonald and Prof. Ian Anderson. During her doctoral studies, she investigated the drivers of greenhouse gas flux feedback responses, namely, CO2, CH4 and N2O, to global changes. This was achieved by targeting both microbial and abiotic soil properties in forest ecosystems under different land-management and climate change conditions. Part of her doctoral experience also took place at University of Minnesota, in collaboration with Prof. Peter Reich, at the B4Warmed (Boreal Forest Warming at an Ecotone in Danger) experiment where she studied the impact of warming and reduced rainfall on greenhouse gas emissions and identified the microbial and abiotic drivers. Molecular tools targeting functional microbial genes were used (qPCR), as well as an array of soil physicochemical properties that together, were used in modelling approaches in order to improve the mechanistic understanding of CO2, CH4 and N2O emissions. Posteriorly, she was involved in assisting and directly managing multiple research projects. In particular, she investigated the role of plant roots in shaping the compartmentalization of water and nitrogen in the soil under the supervision of Dr. Yolima Carrillo (HIE). Cutting-edge analytical techniques were used to trace stable isotopes of oxygen and nitrogen into and out of plants and soil water compartments in controlled environment settings. Recently, Catarina was awarded an Endeavour fellowship to conduct short-term postdoctoral research in collaboration with Dr. Hinsby Cadillo-Quiroz at Arizona State University, USA, investigating the hydrological controls of N2O consumption in tropical peatlands in the Pastaza-Maranon basin in the western Amazon.

Catarina has a BSc (2007) and MSc (2010) in Forestry and Natural Resources management from the Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal.

Research interests

Climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, soil microbial ecology, terrestrial ecosystem ecology, plant-soil water and nitrogen interactions, ecosystem modelling.

Awards and recognition
  • (2018) Endeavour research fellowship – Postdoctoral research at Arizona State University, USA
  • (2014) Winner of best poster at the 20th World Congress of Soil Science in Jeju, South Korea
  • (2014) Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment HDR student conference fund to attend the 20th World Congress of Soil Science in Jeju, South Korea
  • (2013) Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment Research exchange program (outbound) at University of Minnesota, USA
  • (2011) Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment Postgraduate Research Award, Sydney, Australia
  • (2010) Research fellow award at Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica (ITQB), Lisbon, Portugal
  • (2009) Erasmus scholarship at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Mycology and Pathology, Uppsala, Sweden.

Martins CSC, Nazaries L, Delgado-Baquerizo M, Macdonald CA, Anderson IC, Hobbie S, Venterea R, Reich PB, Singh BK, (2017) 'Identifying environmental drivers of greenhouse gas emissions under warming and reduced rainfall in boreal-temperate forests', Functional Ecology, vol.31, no.12, pp 2356-2368

Martins CSC, Macdonald CA, Anderson IC, Singh BK, (2016) 'Feedback responses of soil greenhouse gas emissions to climate change are modulated by soil characteristics in dryland ecosystems. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, vol.100, pp 21-32

Martins CSC, Nazaries L, Macdonald CA, Anderson IC, Singh BK, (2015) 'Water availability and abundance of microbial groups are key determinants of greenhouse gas fluxes in a dryland forest ecosystem. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, vol.86, pp 5-16