Doctor Eleonora Egidi

Dr Egidi joined HIE in 2018 as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow following an international search for a microbial ecologist to lead a Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC-CARE) funded project “A novel framework to identify, predict and improve efficiency of bioremediation technology”.

In 2020, Dr Egidi was awarded an ARC DECRA fellowship for the project “Small but bold: harnessing microbes to boost drought tolerance in grasses”. The project focusses on identifying the key microbial functions that contribute to grass tolerance to drought. The research involves controlled microcosms and field surveys to identify those microbial taxa that drive drought-survival traits in grasses. This program integrates molecular techniques, soil biochemistry, ecophysiology, and spatial ecology to (i) characterise microbial acquisition patterns by plants with different drought survival traits and (ii) identify microbiome-driven plant traits that provide benefits to grasses under drought.

Dr Egidi is committed to support and mentor women is science, and to promote accessible opportunities for researchers in Australia. She has actively participated in the SAGE Athena Swan projects during her appointments at both Western Sydney University and La Trobe University, and is a HIE representative of the WSU Equity and Diversity Working Party (EDWP). Since 2016, Dr Egidi has established and co-convene the Ecological Society of Australia Plant-Soil Ecology (PSE) research chapter, an initiative aimed to create a scientific forum for soil ecologists in Australia. Since its initiation, the Plant-Soil Ecology Research Chapter has delivered five consecutive symposia and >50 presentations at ESA Annual Conferences, significantly contributing to build a much-needed link between plant and soil researchers within the Australian biggest cohort of ecologists.

Awards and Recognition
  • Received a Highly Commended Award for Excellence as an Early Career Researcher in 2021
  • Received a Highly Commended Award for Excellence in Professional Service at the 2019 University Awards
  • Elected to the SAGE Self-Assessment Team Institute Representative and ex-officio member on the Institute Equity and Diversity Working Party
Grants / Current Projects

    Soil fauna and their roles in nutrient transformation of agricultural soils
    Co-Researcher: Brajesh Singh
    Partner/Funding Body: Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment
    Period: 2022-2025

    Small but bold: harnessing microbes to boost drought tolerance in grasses
    Partner/Funding Body: Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award
    Period: 2021-2023

    The control of fungal pathogens by the use of a Trichoderma formulation
    Co-Researchers: Brajesh Singh and Catriona Macdonald
    Partner/Funding Body: Neutrog Australia Pty Ltd
    Period: 2020

    Can we restore soil microbial communities by reintroducing digging mammals?Co-Researchers: Heloise Gibb
    Partner/Funding Body: Thomas Davies Research Grant for Marine, Soil and Plant Biology (Australian Academy of Science)
    Period: 2019

    WSU Metagenomics Workshop 2019
    Co-Researchers: Galaxy Qiu and Thomas Jeffries
    Partner/Funding Body: Global Centre for Land-Based Innovation (Western Sydney University)
    Period: 2019

    Oh brother, where art thou? Distribution patterns and characterization of Tulasnella spp. associated with two related Australian orchid species, Diuris fragrantissima and Diuris punctataCo-Researcher: Ashley Franks
    Partner/Funding Body: Australian Orchid Foundation and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (Port Phillip Region, VIC)
    Period: 2017

    Working together: Fungal-plant interactions for improved removal of hydrocarbon contamination from soils
    Co-Researcher: Ashley Franks
    Partner/Funding Body: China Studies Research Centre [via La Trobe University]
    Period: 2016

    Assessing a metabarcoding protocol for the recovery of Tulasnella spp. associated with the highly endangered orchid Diuris fragrantissima 2016 Co-Researchers: Tom May and Ashley Franks
    Partner/Funding Body: Australian Orchid Foundation and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (Port Phillip Region, VIC)
    Period: 2016

    Testing the potential of next generation sequencing for the detection of Tulasnella species associated with the endangered orchid species Diuris fragrantissimaCo-Researchers: Tom May and Ashley Franks
    Partner/Funding Body: Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (Port Phillip Region, VIC)
    Period: 2015

Selected publications

Coleine C, Delgado-Baquerizo M, Albanese D, Singh BK, Stajich JE, Selbmann L, Egidi E, (2022) 'Rocks support a distinctive and consistent mycobiome across contrasting dry regions of Earth', FEMS Microbiology Ecology, vol.98, no.3, Article no.fiac030

Feng Y, Zhang J, Berdugo M, Guirado CA, Egidi E, Wang J, Singh BK, Delgado-Baquerizo M, (2022) 'Temperature thresholds drive the global distribution of soil fungal decomposers', Global Change Biology, vol.28, no.8, pp 2779 - 2789

Jayaramaiah RH, Egidi E, Macdonald CA, Wang JT, Jeffries TC, Megharaj M, Singh BK, (2022) ‘Soil initial bacterial diversity and nutrient availability determine the rate of xenobiotic biodegradation’, Microbial Biotechnology, vol.15, no.1, pp 318–336

Birnbaum C, Egidi E, (2020) 'Editorial: Special thematic issue on applying microbial community research to improve conservation and restoration outcomes', Plant Ecology, vol.221, pp 749-751

Delgado-Baquerizo M, Guerra CA, Cano-Diaz C, Egidi E, Wang J-T, Eisenhauer N, Singh BK, Maestre FT, (2020) 'The proportion of soil-borne pathogens increases with warming at the global scale', Nature Climate Change, vol.10, no.6, pp 550-554

Ega SL, Drendel G, Petrovski S, Egidi E, Franks AE, Muddada S, (2020) ' Comparative Analysis of Structural Variations Due to Genome Shuffling of Bacillus Subtilis VS15 for Improved Cellulase Production', International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol.21, no.4, Article no.1299

Guzman CE, Wood JL, Egidi E, White-Monsant AC, Semenec L, Grommen SVH, Hill-Yardin EL, De Groef B, Franks AE, (2020) 'A pioneer calf foetus microbiome', Scientific Reports, vol.10, no.1, Article no.17712

Qiu Z, Wang J, Delgado-Baquerizo Manuel, Trivedi P, Egidi E, Chen YM, Zhang HY, Singh BK, (2020) 'Plant Microbiomes: Do Different Preservation Approaches and Primer Sets Alter Our Capacity to Assess Microbial Diversity and Community Composition?', Frontiers in Plant Science, vol.11, Article no.993

Singh BK, Trivedi P, Egidi E, Macdonald CA, Delgado-Baquerizo M, (2020) 'Crop microbiome and sustainable agriculture', Nature Reviews Microbiology, vol.18, no.11, pp 601-602

Birnbaum C, Egidi E, Singh B, (2019) 'Digging deep for biodiversity', Austral Ecology, vol.44, no.3, pp 561-564

Egidi E, Delgado-Baquerizo M, Plett JM, Wang JT, Eldridge DJ, Bardgett RD, Maestre FT, Singh BK, (2019) 'A few Ascomycota taxa dominate soil fungal communities worldwide', Nature Communications, vol.10, Article no.2369

Egidi E, Wood JL, Celestina C, May TW, Mele P, Edwards J, Powell J, Bissett A, Franks AE, (2019) 'Delving into the dark ecology: A continent-wide assessment of patterns of composition in soil fungal communities from Australian tussock grasslands', Fungal Ecology, vol.39, pp 356-370

Madigan AP, Egidi E, Bedon F, Franks AE, Plummer KM, (2019) 'Bacterial and Fungal Communities Are Differentially Modified by Melatonin in Agricultural Soils Under Abiotic Stress', Frontiers in Microbiology, vol.10, Article no.2616

Qiu ZG, Egidi E, Liu HW, Kaur S, Singh BK, (2019) 'New frontiers in agriculture productivity: Optimised microbial inoculants and in situ microbiome engineering', Biotechnology Advances, vol.37, no.6, Article no.107371

Wang JT, Egidi E, Li J, Singh BK, (2019) 'Linking microbial diversity with ecosystem functioning through a trait framework', Journal of Biosciences, vol.44, no.5, Article no.109

Egidi E, Franks A, (2018) 'Incorporating fungal community ecology into invasion biology: challenges and opportunities', Microbiology Australia, (in press)

Xu Y, He Y, Egidi E, Franks AE, Tang CX, Xu JM, (2019) 'Pentachlorophenol alters the acetate-assimilating microbial community and redox cycling in anoxic soils', Soil Biology & Biochemistry, vol.131, pp 133-140

Coleine C, Stajich JE, Zucconi L, Onofri S, Pombubpa N, Egidi E, Franks A, Buzzini P, Selbmann L, (2018) 'Antarctic Cryptoendolithic Fungal Communities Are Highly Adapted and Dominated by Lecanoromycetes and Dothideomycetes', Frontiers in Microbiology, vol.9, Article no.1392

Egidi E, May TW, Franks AE, (2018) 'Seeking the needle in the haystack: Undetectability of mycorrhizal fungi outside of the plant rhizosphere associated with an endangered Australian orchid', Fungal Ecology, vol.33, pp 13-23

Yu ZH, Li YS, Hu XJ, Jin J, Wang GH, Tang CX, Liu JJ, Liu XB, Franks A, Egidi E, Xie ZH, (2018) 'Elevated CO2 increases the abundance but simplifies networks of soybean rhizosphere fungal community in Mollisol soils', Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment, vol.264, pp 94-98

Wijayawardene NN, Hyde KD, Rajeshkumar KC, Hawksworth DL, Madrid H, Kirk PM, Braun U, Singh RV, Crous PW, Kukwa M, Lücking R, Kurtzman CP, Yurkov A, Haelewaters D, Aptroot A, Thorsten Lumbsch H, Timdal E, Ertz D, Etayo J, Phillips AJL, Groenewald JZ, Papizadeh M, Selbmann L, Dayarathne MC, Weerakoon G, Gareth Jones EB, Suetrong S, Tian Q, Castañeda-Ruiz RF, Bahkali AH, Pang K-L, Tanaka K, Dai DQ, Sakayaroj J, Hujslová M, Lombard L, Shenoy BD, Suija A, Maharachchikumbura SSN, Thambugala KM, Wanasinghe DN, Sharma BO, Gaikwad S, Pandit G, Zucconi L, Onofri S, Egidi E, Raja HA, Kodsueb R, Cáceres MES, Pérez-Ortega S, Fiuza PO, Santana Monteiro J, Vasilyeva LN, Shivas RG, Prieto M, Wedin M, Olariaga I, Azeez Lateef A, Agrawal Y, Shahzadeh Fazeli SA, Amoozegar MA, Zhao GZ, Pfliegler WP, Sharma G, Oset M, Abdel-Wahab MA, Takamatsu S, Bensch K, de Silva NI, De Kesel A, Karunarathna A, Boonmee S, Pfister DH, Lu Y-Z, Luo Z-L, Boonyuen N, Daranagama DA, Senanayake IC, Jayasiri SC, Samarakoon MC, Zeng X-Y, Doilom M, Quijada L, Rampadarath S, Heredia G, Dissanayake AJ, Jayawardana RS, Perera RH, Zhou Tang L, Phukhamsakda C, Hernández-Restrepo M, Ma X, Tibpromma S, Gusmao LFP, Weerahewa D, Karunarathna SC, (2017) 'Notes for genera – Ascomycota', Fungal Diversity, vol.86, no.1, pp 1-594

Wood J, Franks A, Egidi E, (2017) 'Linking microscopic interactions with macroscopic effects', Journal of Vegetation Science, vol.28, no.3, pp 462-463

Egidi E, McMullan-Fisher S, Morgan J, May T, Zeeman B, Franks A, (2016) 'Fire regime, not time-since-fire, affect soil fungal community diversity and composition in temperate grasslands', FEMS Microbiology Letters, vol.363, no.17, fnw196

Stielow JB,  Lévesque CA, Seifert KA, Meyer W, Iriny L, Smits D, Renfurm R, Verkley GJM, Groenewald M, Chaduli D, Lomascolo A, Welti S, Lesage-Meessen L, Favel A, Al-Hatmi AMS, Damm U, Yilmaz N, Houbraken J, Lombard L, Quaedvlieg W, Binder M, Vaas LAT, Vu D, Yurkov A, Begerow D, Roehl O, Guerreiro M, 12  Fonseca A, Samerpitak K, van Diepeningen AD, Dolatabadi S, Moreno LF, Casaregola S, Mallet S, Jacques N, Roscini L, Egidi E, Bizet C, Garcia-Hermoso D, Martín MP, Deng S, Groenewald JZ, Boekhout T, de Beer ZW, Barnes I, Duong TA, Wingfield MJ, de Hoog GS, Crous PW, Lewis CT, Hambleton S, Moussa TAA, Al-Zahrani HS, Almaghrabi OA, Louis-Seize G, Assabgui R, McCormick W, Omer G, Dukik K, Cardinali G, Eberhardt U, de Vries M, Robert V, (2015) 'One fungus, which genes? Development and assessment of universal primers for potential secondary fungal DNA barcodes', Persoonia - Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Fungi, vol.35, pp 242-263

Egidi E, de Hoog GS, Isola D, Onofri S, Quaedvlieg W, de Vries M, Verkley GJM, Stielow JB, Zucconi L, Selbmann L, (2014) 'Phylogeny and taxonomy of meristematic rock-inhabiting black fungi in the Dothideomycetes based on multi-locus phylogenies', Fungal Diversity, vol.65, no.1, pp 127-165

Selbmann L, Isola D, Egidi E, Zucconi L, Gueidan C, de Hoog GS, Onofri S, (2014) 'Mountain tips as reservoir for new rock-fungal entities: Saxomyces gen. nov. and four new species from the Alps', Fungal Diversity, vol.65, no.1, pp 167-182

Selbmann L, Egidi E, Isola D, Onofri S, Zucconi L, De Hoog GS, Chinaglia S, Testa L, Tosi S, Balestrazzi A, Lantieri A, Compagno R, Tigini V, Varese GC, (2013) 'Biodiversity, evolution and adaptation of fungi in extreme environments', Plant Biosystems, vol.147, no.1, pp 237-246

Genome Announcements

E. Egidi, J.L. Wood, E.M. Fox, W. Liu, A.E. Franks (2017) Draft genome sequence of Leifsonia sp. NCR5, a rhizobacterium isolated from a cadmium-contaminated soil. Genome Announcements 5.23 (2017): e00520-17

E. Egidi, J.L. Wood, S. Aracic, R. Kannan, L.  McDonald, C. Bell, E.M. Fox, W. Liu, A.E. Franks (2016) Draft genome sequence of Enterobacter ludwigii NCR3, a heavy-metal resistant rhizobacterium. Genome Announcements 4(5), e01076-16

E. Egidi, J.L. Wood, S. Mathews E., E.M. Fox, W. Liu, A.E. Franks (2016) Draft genome sequence of Bacillus cereus LCR12, a plant growth promoting rhizobacterium isolated from a heavy metal contaminated environment. Genome Announcements 4(5), e01041-16

E. Egidi, J.L. Wood, E.M. Fox, W. Liu, A.E. Franks (2016) Draft genome of Rhodococcus erythropolis NSX2, an Actinobacterium isolated from a cadmium contaminated environment. Genome Announcements 4(5), e01147-16