In this last interview from the EcoSummit2016 conference, Gerlinde De Deyn talks about plant-soil feedbacks in agricultural systems, and how outcomes of fundamental research can be used to improve farming practices and move toward more sustainable food production. Gerlinde also talks about the importance of raising awareness about soil and to inform the public, farmers and policy makers about what is in the soil and how it works. She recently initiated a crowdfunding campaign to produce a film that will enable viewers to watch soil life and plant growth simultaneously. A few similar movies are already available on Youtube (see one below), and one video on root growth, even made it to the video opening of the last olympic games in Rio (Brazil). Listen to Gerlinde talking about this in the podcast below.
Blog Editor, Journal of Ecology
Gerlinde De Deyn is Associate Professor in the Department of Soil Quality at Wageningen University (The Netherlands). Her research focus on plant-soil interactions in relation to the coupling between biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services. She aims to understand, and be able to predict, the interactions plants develop with plant growth promoting and suppressing soil organisms in their rhizosphere and through their aboveground and belowground litter that enters the soil. She works with a wide range of soil biota from bacteria, fungi, mycorrhizal fungi, to soil nematodes, micro-arthropods, potworms and earthworms and study their role in soil in relation to plant growth, plant diversity, nutrient and carbon cycling and greenhouse gas emissions in plant communities with different land use intensity.