Marta Misiak

I am a NERC-funded PhD student at the NERC British Antarctic Survey and Cardiff University researching soil fungal responses to warming in polar regions under the supervision of Dr Kevin Newsham and Professors Lynne Boddy and Peter Convey. Temperature increases in polar regions are already having negative effects on ecosystems, but still little is known of how warming might affect polar soil fungi. This gap in knowledge needs to be filled, as fungi are pivotal to many ecosystem processes, notably nutrient cycling. Molecular and microbiological methods, DNA sequencing, enzyme assays and statistical data analyses will be used to shed light on the effects of warming on soil microbial activity in both Arctic and Antarctic soils.

I completed my degree at Aberystwyth University, graduating with an MSc in Environmental Management and a BSc in Biochemistry. I also hold a BSc in Environmental Conservation from Wroclaw University, Poland. For my MSc dissertation, supervised by Professor John Scullion, I researched microbial responses to temperature and nitrogen perturbations in subarctic soils. My final year BSc project investigated optimal conditions for quorum sensing detection and cell-to-cell communication using signalling compounds in Dr Mike Winson’s group. I was part of a team analysing greenhouse gas emissions from subarctic lakes at Abisko Scientific Research Station in 2010 as part of an Arctic Geoecology course at Umea University, Sweden. I am interested in soil science, environmental management and conservation, climate change, biogeochemical processes in ecosystems, water chemistry and water management.