I will be working on a project that aims to develop an expanded modern reference of plant silica (phytoliths) from Australia and to characterize how plant microfossils in soils reflect modern plant population, structure, and fire history. Plant and soils samples will be obtained from a wide array of bioregions from across Australia through the collections of the Terrestrial Ecosystems Research Network (TERN). Phytoliths, pollen, and micro and macro charcoal will be extracted from soils for each of the sites. Phytolith and pollen assemblages will be characterized through microscopy and micro- and macro-charcoal abundances will be analyzed. The charcoal abundances will be compared to on-fire regime characteristics. The relationships observed in modern soils will then be used to provide better reconstructions from the geologic past.

Funding: Graduate School Scholarships (UQGSS)

Project members

Manoshi Hazra

Manoshi HAZRA

PhD candidate