Gabriel Silvestre Rocha

Gabriel Silvestre Rocha MSc

PhD Candidate
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Visiting Address

Droevendaalsesteeg 10
6708 PB Wageningen

+31 (0) 317 47 34 00

The Netherlands



Passionate microbial ecologist dedicated to sustainable agriculture. I steer microbial communities for sustainability and efficient nutrient cycling. On my PhD I will focus on mitigating N losses via crop selection for biological nitrification inhibition.


I'm a Bachelor in Environmental Sciences from the Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO) and Master in Sciences from the Graduate Program in Sciences at the Center for Nuclear Energy in Agriculture (CENA) of the University of São Paulo (USP), with a specialized focus on Agriculture and Environment Biology. During my master's program, I conducted research projects that centered on analyzing the microbiome associated with plants of the Urochloa genus (Syn. Brachiaria) and explored methods to improve Phosphorus availability in tropical soils.

Throughout my academic journey, I actively collaborated on diverse research projects across different Brazilian biomes, including the Atlantic Forest, Cerrado (Brazilian savanna), and the Amazon. My experience includes bioinformatics and molecular biology, with emphasis on soil microbiome analysis and microbial ecology.

Currently, I am pursuing a PhD in the Microbial Ecology department at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), where my research focuses on mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, with a particular interest in addressing the challenge of reducing N2O emissions through crop selection to promote biological nitrification inhibition. My commitment to advancing sustainable agriculture through microbial ecology and molecular biology continues to drive my academic and research goals.

Research groups


Peer-reviewed publications

  • Microbiology Resource Announcements

    Bacterial genomes recovered from litter’s metagenomes in Amazonian Dark Earths

    Anderson Santos de Freitas, Luis Felipe Guandalin Zagatto, Gabriel Silvestre Rocha, Thierry Alexandre Pellegrinetti, Letícia de Cássia Malho Alves, Vitor Moreira de Lara, Jéssica A. Mandro, Aleksander Westphal Muniz, Rogério Eiji Hanada, Luiz Fernando Würdig Roesch, Siu Mui Tsai
    Here, we report 27 metagenome-assembled bacterial genomes (MAGs) from litter samples of a secondary forest located in Brazil over an Amazonian Dark Earth pool. The data set includes members from the phyla Pseudomonadata (14 MAGs), Actinomycetota (7 MAGs), Bacteroidota (4 MAGs), Bacillota (1 MAG), and Bdellovibrionota (1 MAG).

Projects & collaborations


  • ClipsMicro: Climate proof soils by steering soil and residue microbiomes

    Project 2022–2028
    To mitigate climate change, global agricultural soils needs to store more carbon and emit less greenhouse gasses (GHG). In ClipsMicro, together with partners in agro-business, this is realised by steering soil microbes by application of novel, refined compost and crops that can reduce emissions of GHG.
    Soil from 70 year composting trial