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BSc-MSc Thesis and Internship Projects, Wageningen University

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Studying the effect of land use intensity and land use changes on functional diversity of soil biota
Soil biota play a crucial role in the provision of ecosystem functions. A promising way to link the abundance of soil biota to these functions is by studying their functional diversity. Functional diversity describes the range of  ...
Supervisor: Doina Mani (SGL & SBL), Carmen Vazquez Martin (SBL)
Department: Soil Biology
Mitigation of nitrogen emissions from peat grassland by using Plantago lanceolata?
Introduction (thesis or internship) Peat soils are very rich in organic matter through accumulation of plant residues over centuries. Areas with peat soils are nowadays drained in order to produce grass for milk production. Howev ...
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Jan Willem van Groenigen (WUR)
MSc. Jeroen Pijlman (Louis Bolk Institute)
Dr. Ir. Nick van Eekeren (Louis Bolk Institute)

Department: Soil Biology
Soil organic matter and biodiversity in solar farms on agricultural land
Introduction: Land-use change from conventional grassland or arable farming to solar farming is expected to have potential effects on the vegetation underneath the solar panels. Reduction in light availability will impact primar ...
Supervisor: Dr. R.G.M. de Goede, prof. Dr. ir. G. de Deyn
Department: Soil Biology
What drives changes in earthworm community composition across different soil conditions?
Earthworms are among the most important soil fauna. They contribute to the quality of soil by improving soil structure, increasing nutrient mineralisation, mixing residues into the soil, and many other process. Thus, having large  ...
Supervisor: Jan Willem van Groenigen, Ingrid Lubbers
Department: Soil Biology
Insects’ by-products potential on plant and soil
In a circular agriculture, insects are a suitable solution to convert food and crop wastes into premium high-value ingredients for humans, animals and plants. As an insect by-product, frass (excrement) has been studied in several  ...
Supervisor: Ellis Hoffland
Department: Soil Biology
Quantifying the role of root exudates in the cadmium uptake by cacao in Latin America
The context of this project is the uptake of cadmium (Cd) by cacao from tropical soils. Recent EU food safety regulations lowered the allowed Cd content in chocolate. This has large implications for the socio-economic sustainabili ...
Supervisor: Wietse Wiersma, Marie Zwetsloot, Mirjam Pulleman
Department: Soil Biology
Into the wild: the impact of plant domestication on root exudation patterns and agro-ecosystem processes.
Plant domestication has led to increases in plant yield and other aboveground plant traits associated with fertile and stable soil environments. However, it is unclear how this process of artificial selection has changed root exud ...
Supervisor: Marie Zwetsloot
Department: Soil Biology
Decoding root biochemical fingerprints: how does species variation in root exudation patterns influence soil microbial activity in grasslands?
Plant roots release a diversity of compounds into soil, interacting with soil microbes, organic matter and minerals. Despite being a strong driver of soil carbon and nutrient cycling, the impact of plant species variation in root  ...
Supervisor: Marie Zwetsloot
Department: Soil Biology
Developing methodologies for measuring the impact of root exudation on soil microbial processes
Plant roots release a diverse cocktail of compounds into soil. These root exudates interact with soil microbes, organic matter and minerals, with important implications for soil functions including soil carbon sequestration, nutri ...
Supervisor: Marie Zwetsloot
Department: Soil Biology
Mitigating N2O emissions from grasslands during extreme weather events using a plant trait-based approach
Intensively managed grasslands are an ecologically and economically important agroecosystem, and are more than half of all agricultural land. Due to nitrogen fertilization, they are also large sources of the potent greenhouse gas  ...
Supervisor: Gerlinde De Deyn
Department: Soil Biology
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