Doctor Kazi Mehnaz

Dr Kazi Mehnaz Dr Kazi Mehnaz joined the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment (HIE) in December 2021 as a postdoctoral research fellow in Plant Ecophysiology and Phosphorus Nutrition. She is currently working on an ARC Discovery Project entitled, “Feast or famine: how Australian plants stay productive under low phosphorus” with Prof David Ellsworth. As part of this research project, she seeks to identify how plants internally partition phosphorus amongst metabolic, lipid, nucleic acid and residual fractions, in regulating photosynthetic capacity and productivity across soil and landscape Phosphorus gradients.

Kazi completed her PhD in ‘Agriculture’, more specifically in ‘Soil Biogeochemistry’ from University of Sydney in December 2019. Her PhD research was based on how carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization in soil affects microbial nitrogen transformation and nitrogen loss as nitrous oxide emission and nitrate leaching from a grassland soil, in presence and absence of plants.

Prior to her PhD, she completed her second master’s degree in Environmental Science from University of Sydney, where she conducted research on the effects of phosphorus availability on greenhouse gas emissions (e.g., N2O and CO2) through various microbial process from soil. Kazi completed her bachelor’s and first master’s degree in Soil, Water and Environment from University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Areas of research/teaching expertise

Soil biogeochemistry, plant ecophysiology, microbiology, greenhouse gases, carbon and nutrient cycling, phosphorus fractionation, isotope labelling.

Awards and recognition
  • Received competitive TL Pawlett Postgraduate Scholarship from Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, University of Sydney for the PhD candidature
  • Received Dean's Award for outstanding academic performance in Bachelor of Science (Honours) at University of Dhaka
  • Secured First Class, First for Master of Science in Soil, Water & Environment at University of Dhaka
  • Received '180-second spiel' Thesis Challenge award in the Annual Faculty symposium at University of Sydney in 2018
  • Awarded full support to attend and present research at the 2018 National Soils Conference in Canberra, ACT from the NSW Branch of Soil Science Australia (SSA)
  • Received Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Post-Doctoral Scholarship Award for the Academic Year 2020-2021
Selected Publications

Mehnaz KR, Corneo PE, Keitel C, Dijkstra FA, (2019) 'Carbon and phosphorus addition effects on microbial carbon use efficiency, soil organic matter priming, gross nitrogen mineralization and nitrous oxide emission from soil', Soil Biology and Biochemistry, vol.134, pp 175-186

Mehnaz KR, Keitel C, Dijkstra FA, (2019) 'Phosphorus availability and plants alter soil nitrogen retention and loss', Science of the Total Environment, vol.671, pp 786-794

Mehnaz KR, Keitel C, Dijkstra FA, (2018) 'Effects of carbon and phosphorus addition on microbial respiration, N2O emission and gross nitrogen mineralization in a phosphorus-poor grassland', Soil Biology and Fertility of Soils, vol.54, pp 481-493

Mehnaz KR, Dijkstra FA, (2016) 'Denitrification and associated N2O emissions are limited by phosphorus availability in a grassland soil', Geoderma, vol.284, pp 34-41