6708 PB Wageningen
Luis Fernando Merloti MSc
I am an agronomist with a master's degree in Biology in Agriculture and Environment. I have experience in seeds, crops, soil research, and molecular analysis, and beginner in data science and analytics. I have already done many field expeditions in the Brazilian Amazon and Atlantic forest. Therefore, I can describe myself as a Microbial Ecologist studying the complexity of the soil microbiome. I am currently working at NIOO as a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Terrestrial Ecology. My current research project is the role of the soil microbiome in Atlantic forest restoration.
Brazil's Atlantic rainforest biome has lost around 87% of its natural vegetation. Most of those areas were converted to pastures and sugarcane plantations. In this sense, the remaining natural forests, or those restored, are fundamental for the region's ecosystem's functioning. So, the project aims to evaluate the effects of forest restoration methodologies on soil microbial and micro-faunal communities in Atlantic Forest regions, including nematodes. We want to access their structure, composition, potential functions, and interactions in this complex environment. Furthermore, we want to integrate above and below-ground knowledge to optimize forest restoration projects. This data can be crucial knowledge to leverage political, financial, and societal support to encourage and expand the restoration of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest.