Meet our PostGrads

Camille Rousset – Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Soil Science

Camille & Trial

Camille Rousset is currently studying for an Honours degree in the field of Soil Science at Lincoln University. Prof. Tim Clough is supervising her research.

I grew up in a countryside in the southwest of France near Bordeaux named Bourg sur Gironde. My home is surrounded by the most famous type of Agriculture of the region, viticulture, on which it built its reputation and which results in the production of one of the best drink ever: wine.

My education career has always been oriented towards environmental and agronomy sciences; I completed my bachelor degree at Bordeaux University on biology of organisms and environment. After that, I did a master degree in Paris in Agroecology where I learned the different ways of designing production systems that rely on the functionalities offered by ecosystems. It was through those 2 years that I turned to the question of environmental effects of agriculture, thanks to lessons, professors, internshipseand all the people that I had the opportunity to meet.

Agroecology techniques and knowledge, is also a social movement and I want to be part of it. It is so exciting to see more and more farmers and scientists getting engaged to find solutions for an agricultural system that is more respectful of people and the environment.

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Without being able to become a farmer at the moment (it may happen one day) and because I have always been attracted by the research community, I started research on SOIL, the “agriculture pillar”, without which agriculture would have been unthinkable. I am currently doing a PhD in N2O (greenhouse gas) emissions from arable soil, a subject that I started to deal with during a 6 month internship in Scotland at the James Hutton Institute. I will try through this 3 next years to find answers to mitigate N2O emissions by optimizing irrigation management. I am hoping, with farmers’ collaborations, to find fertilizer and irrigation strategies to limit the N2O emissions and find a tool that they can easily used to better control these inputs.

It’s going to be 3 exciting and intense years!!!

Neo Zhai – Master of Science, Soil Science

Neo Zhai

Neo Zhai is currently studying for a Masters degree in the field of Soil Science at Lincoln University. Dr Henry Chau is supervising this research. It is an external industrial project that an aspect of physical/hydrological characterisation of peat soils that currently has a research gap.

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“My name is Neo Zhai. I am doing first year of Master of Science in soil science. My research is currently focusing on physical/hydrological characterisation peat soils for mushroom growth. I have a BSc of Chemistry from University of Canterbury and a graduate diploma from Lincoln. “

Camilla Gardiner – Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Soil Science

Camilla Gardiner

Camilla Gardiner is currently studying for her PhD in the field of Soil Science at Lincoln University. Professors Timothy Clough and Keith Cameron  are supervising this research.

“I’m from Seattle, Washington. I graduated with an Honors BSc from UC Berkeley in Environmental Science and wrote my thesis there on the potential for San Francisco municipal compost application on California rangeland soils to increase soil carbon sequestration and how that annual carbon sequestration correlates to annual rainfall.

My PhD thesis title is “The potential for ruminant forage diet manipulation to mitigate urine-derived soil nitrous oxide emissions”. We are looking to identify naturally-occurring inhibitors, either in urine or in forage plants, that reduce nitrification in urine-affected soils and therefore reduce resulting N2O emissions.”

Zach Simpson – Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Soil Science

Zach Simpson

Zach Simpson is currently studying for his PhD in the field of Soil Science at Lincoln University. Professors Richard McDowell and Leo Condron are supervising this research.

“Howdy, I hail from Arkansas, USA, where I studied watershed hydrology and water quality at the University of Arkansas. Multiple sources of pollution (urban and agricultural) threaten the quality of the streams in the Ozark Mountains which spurred my interest in contaminant transport, stream hydrology, and ecological impacts within the stream and receiving water bodies. Stream pollution is a global issue and in my search for further study I was led to New Zealand where research in this topic is quite active.

My PhD topic is concerned with the transport of phosphorus in streams in relation to stream sediments via sorption: the chemical and physical properties of sediment, sediment sources and transport through catchments, physical and chemical conditions needed for exchange of phosphorus between the sediment and the water, and hyporheic (subsurface zone where groundwater and surface water interact) processes affecting phosphorus transport. The complexity of streams fascinates me and I feel challenged, yet encouraged, to tackle the problem.”

William Talbot – Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Soil Science

William Talbot

William Talbot is currently studying for his PhD in the field of Soil Science at Lincoln University. Professors Keith Cameron and Hong Di are supervising this research.

“I grew up in Christchurch, New Zealand. My interest in Lincoln University and soils was sparked while I was in high school, when I got a summer job at Lincoln Universality digging lysimeters. A year and a bit later I started my Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Lincoln University. This interest in soils was solidified when I was lucky enough to work with Professor Keith Cameron, developing the SCALAR concept as part of my Honours project.

Currently I am doing a PhD project, looking at “Innovative ways to reduce farm Nitrogen losses by manipulating Carbon inputs.” I look forward to cracking into my project and hopefully getting some great results!

Siyu Chen (Cindy) – Master of Agricultural Science, Soil Science

Siyu Chen

Siyu Chen is currently studying for her Master of Science degree in the field of Soil Science at Lincoln University. Professors Keith Cameron and Hong Di are supervising this research.

“I grew up in China. I studied soil and plant science in China for my bachelors degree. I found it interesting to learn how nutrients cycle between soil and plants, so I decided to study it and possibly contribute to this area of science. I quickly became excited about soils, mainly due to the passion of the professors, and I have never looked back. I love the feeling when I get the good results from lab and I will be really excited when the relationship between treatments and results is increasingly clear.

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Currently I am doing a Masters project, about “Effect of different forms of FDE, with and without urine, on nitrification, denitrification and N2O emissions”. Its all very exciting. More details about FDE, nitrification and denitrification are learnt during the experiments. Moreover, it is really interesting to figure out the results by yourself through doing experiments.”

Xueying Che (Sherry)- Master of Science, Soil Science

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Xueying Che is currently studying for her Master of Science degree in the field of Soil Science at Lincoln University. Associate Professor Jim Moir and Dr Alistair Black are supervising this research.

“Hi, my name is Xueying Che. I was born and grew up in the northeast of China. I did my undergraduate diploma of horticulture science in  Hainan University in China, and I just finished my postgraduate diploma in horticulture science last year in Lincoln. I am really interested in Agriculture Science and soil science in New Zealand.

Currently, I am doing a Master project about “The biological effects of Lupinus polyphylus on soil nitrogen in acid high country soils”. I feel excited and interested in my project.”

Dharshika Welikala – Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Soil Science

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Dharshika Welikala is currently studying for her PhD in the field of Soil Science at Lincoln University. Dr Niklas Lehto is supervising this research.

“Hi, I’m Dharshika Welikala from Sri Lanka. I’m a Chemistry (hons) graduate from University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. As I was an undergraduate I was interested doing my PhD in the field of environmental chemistry.
My passion for soil science started as I got to know about Dr. Niklas Lehtos and his research interests on “use of diffusive gradient thin films for understanding the bioavailability of trace metals”. I have found that my knowledge of chemistry is useful as a base to build new ideas in this field, while I enhance my knowledge and interest in soil science.
Currently I’m doing my PhD on “Trace metal Speciation in soils and aquatic environment”. It’s really exciting to work in this field.”

Sephrah Rayner – Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Soil Science

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Sephrah Rayner is currently studying for her PhD in the field of Soil Science at Lincoln University. Professor Timothy Clough is supervising this research.

“I grew up in the Tasman Region of New Zealand, a childhood full of adventures into local national parks started my love for the New Zealand environment. High school was followed by 5 years of travel, work and study overseas which lead me to the conclusion that I wanted to study further and gave me the passion for soil science that lead me to Lincoln University. I came back to New Zealand, studied for my bachelor of science and honours in soil science. During my undergraduate degree and honours project I was further inspired to pursue soil science, dedicated and passionate lectures, tutors and technicians urging me on.

My current PhD project: “The potential for nitrate attenuation from the paddock to steam” is funded by Environment Southland and GNS Science.

This project will focus on understanding nitrate transfers and transformations from grazed pastures focusing on nitrate fluxes (magnitude and dynamics), and their attenuation in the landscape. A broad focus will be the integration of N budget understanding at relevant scales, including integration with MPI-funded nitrous oxide emission research. Recent global research suggests that attenuation due to denitrification occurs predominately in headwater catchments (≤1st order streams) and this will be evaluated with respect to New Zealand systems.

It is an exciting area of science to be in at the moment in New Zealand, combining soil science with water quality outcomes and environmental management and policy. There is so much going on with research in soil, plant and water science in New Zealand I hope to help inspire others to pursue a career in these areas, as well as contributing to both inter-disciplinary communication and bringing science to the general public in a way that makes it both understandable and interesting.”

Genevieve Smith – Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Soil Science

Genevieve Smith

Genevieve Smith is currently studying for her PhD in the field of Soil Science at Invermay, AgResearch, Dunedin. Professor Richard McDowell and Leo Condron are supervising this research.

“I grew up in Levin, New Zealand. I completed a BScHons at Massey University in Palmerston North, my honours project looked at nutrient flow pathways and nitrogen attenuation in groundwater. Growing up I loved the outdoors and my family has always been quite involved with water quality issues around Levin, this, as well as my undergrad and honours combining soil and water sciences, has lead me to where I am today.

My PhD project: “Phosphorus mobilisation under anaerobic conditions” is funded through AgResearch and Walsh Fellowship, Teagasc.  Phosphorus is a fundamental element for living organisms and yet, is a finite resource. This research aims to help our understanding of phosphorus mobilisation; focusing on how soil anaerobic conditions contribute to P movement, with more detailed research aimed at identifying specific effects of anaerobic conditions in fragipan soils; how they effect P movement and run off. I will based in Ireland for 1 year to work with my supervisors over there, looking at the Fragipan component of my PhD research.”

Yuan Li – Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Soil Science

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Yuan Li is currently studying for his PhD in the field of Soil Science at Lincoln University. Professor Timothy Clough and Dr David Whitehead are supervising this research.

“I grew up in northwest of China. I completed my bachelor degree at Northwest A&F University. I started my master project at Lanzhou University, my master project looked at response of nitrous oxide emissions and productivity of lucerne crop to nitrogen addition. I have done lots of work on soil nitrogen dynamics, denitrification-decomposition model and soil microbial activity (ammonia oxidizers, microbial biomass). Also, the lab I worked as a master student has conducted lots of research on soil carbon in cropland. All of these trigger my interest in soil science.

Currently I am doing a PhD project about “linking carbon and nitrogen dynamics to mitigate carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions in grazed grasslands”. This research aims to determine how irrigation drives the interactions between carbon and nitrogen cycles and the regulation of soil organic matter decomposition and nitrous oxide emissions, and identify the potential for farm management practices to mitigate soil organic matter losses and reduce nitrous oxide emissions. It’s all very exciting to carry out my project and hopefully getting some great results.”

Minakshi Mishra – Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Soil Science

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Minakshi Mishra is currently studying for her PhD in the field of Soil Science at Lincoln University. Professor Brett Robinson is supervising this research.

“My name is Minakshi Mishra. I did my schooling in India and during my high school I suddenly got an interest in Biotechnology by studying about BT cotton, so I decided it to be my career. I have studied Biotech in India and England, during B.Sc and M.Sc

I am now working as a soil microbiologist in my research, finding a natural way for waste management with NZ native manuka tree. As happens to all, PhD is a kind of roller coaster experience for me also, but my supervisors have always been very supportive, so thank to them and hopefully I will finish early next year😊.”

 

Amy Whitley – Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Soil Science

Amy Whitley

Amy Whitley is currently studying for her PhD in the field of Soil Science at Lincoln University. AssociateProfessor Jim Moir, Peter Almond, Derrick Moot and Dr Niklas Lehto are supervising this research.

“I am from Hamilton and came down to the South Island to study a BSc majoring in Environmental Biogeosciences at Lincoln University in 2010. Having not come from a farming background, I quickly learnt the importance of soil in agricultural systems. I had some passionate lecturers who made me excited about soils and I wanted to learn more. I decided to complete an honours year of research, which looked at the response of six forage legume species to lime, phosphorus and sulphur on an acidic high country soil”

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“My PhD thesis research focus is on soil acidity and Al toxicity on high and hill country soils in New Zealand. This has led me on many exciting adventures around New Zealand, to some picturesque places to sample soils.  I am looking forward to seeing where this will take me in the future.”

Dirk Wallace – Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Soil Science

Dirk Wallace

Dirk Wallace is currently studying for his PhD in the field of Soil Science at Lincoln University. AssociateProfessor Peter Almond and Dr Sam Carrick are supervising this research.

“I grew up in Rotorua and started off studying engineering at Waikato University where I took earth science elective papers. I quickly figured out that soil science was way more fun than calculus so changed to an earth science major and chased the dream from there”
“Currently I am doing a PhD project looking at amending irrigated soils with a range of products to increase water storage and reduce drainage. Its been a great challenge and has allowed me to develop a fairly broad range of skills”

Carmen Medina Carmona – Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Soil Science

Carmen Medina Carmona

Carmen Medina Carmona is currently studying for her PhD in the field of Soil Science at Lincoln University. Professor Timothy Clough, Dr. Mike Beare and Dr. Sam McNally are supervising this research.

“I am from Colombia and I grew up surrounded by mountains and coffee plantations. Then I moved to Spain where I graduated with a BSc Honours in Environmental Science from Autonomous University of Barcelona. My interest in Soil Science started when I had the opportunity to work on a project assessing the potential of carbon sequestration in a limestone quarry mine soil amended with sewage sludge.

Currently I am doing a PhD project, about the influence of irrigation on carbon soil dynamics under pastures. I hope that at the end of this project we can determine whether irrigated pastures make the soil a sink or source of carbon, and therefore their impacts in terms of CO2 emissions.”

Daniel Hendrie – Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Soil Science

Daniel Hendrie

Daniel Martin-Hendrie is currently studying for his PhD in the field of Soil Science at Lincoln University. Associate Professor Jim Moir, Dr. Alistar Black and Dr. Nik Lehto are supervising this research.

“I am from South Canterbury and came to Lincoln way back in 2011. Having completed a BAgSci with honours I am now studying a PhD investigating lime and fertiliser application on legume production in acidic high country soils. My project is funded by the Fertiliser Association of New Zealand and Callaghan Innovation.”

Tihana Vujinovic – Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Soil Science

Tihana Vujinovic is currently studying for her PhD in the field of Soil Science at Lincoln University. Professor Timothy Clough, Dr Niklas Lehto, Dr Mike Beare and Dr Denis Curtin are supervising this research.

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“I grew up in Croatia and completed my Master’s in Agricultural Sciences and Technologies at the University of Udine in Italy. Among a large list of topics in my area of interest and an apprentice in beekeeping, I’ve jumped into the field of soil chemistry and biochemistry with my BSc thesis, which aimed at characterizing humic fractions in leachates from soil under organic and conventional management and their interactions with the root zone. After a period spent at BOKU Vienna, where I’ve enlarged my interest in soil science, I’ve decided to pursue soil organic matter studies and work on the dynamics on nitrogen in humified fractions of agricultural soils through the use of stable isotopes for my Msc thesis.

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Currently I am all into my PhD project looking at the factors controlling dissolved organic matter formation and its role in carbon and nitrogen dynamics in agricultural soils. My study is trying to provide an insight into the mechanisms that affect DOM release and its microbial availability with respect to its physicochemical characteristics and its response to soil water content fluctuations or land management. It’s a challenging sphere where to sneak a peek.”

Obed Lense – Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Soil Science

Obed Lense is currently studying for her PhD in the field of Soil Science at Lincoln University. Professors Brett Robinson and Nick Dickinson are supervising this research.

Carolina Lizarralde – Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Soil Science

Carolina Lizarralde is currently studying for her PhD in the field of Soil Science at Lincoln University. Professors Richard McDowell and Leo Condron are supervising this research.

David Rex – Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Soil Science

David Rex is currently studying for his PhD in the field of Soil Science at Lincoln University. Professor Timothy Clough is supervising this research.

Saloomeh (Sally) Seyedalikhani- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Soil Science

Saloomeh Seyedalikhani is currently studying for her PhD in the field of Soil Science at Lincoln University. Professor Brett Robinson is supervising this research.

 

Zicheng Yi – Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Soil Science

Zicheng Yi is currently studying for his PhD in the field of Soil Science at Lincoln University. Dr Niklas Lehto and Professor Brett Robinson are supervising this research.

Cameron McIntyre – Master of Science, Soil Science

Cameron McIntyre is currently studying for his Master of Science degree in the field of Soil Science at Lincoln University. \rofessor Brett Robinson is supervising this research.

Kate Monteath – Master of Science, Soil Science

Kate Monteath is currently studying for her Master of Science degree in the field of Soil Science at Lincoln University. Dr Niklas Lehto and Professor Brett Robinson are supervising this research.

Paige Abernethy – Honours degree, Soil Science

Paige Abernethy is currently studying for her Honours degree in the field of Soil Science at Lincoln University. Professor Leo Condron is supervising this research.

Mauritz (Amoldus) De Jager – Honours degree, Soil Science

Mauritz De Jager is currently studying for his Honours degree in the field of Soil Science at Lincoln University. Professor Brett Robinson and Dr Niklas Lehto are supervising this research.