Marta MisiakMarta Misiak

Project title: Soil fungal responses to warming in polar regions 

Marta completed her degree at Aberystwyth University, graduating with an MSc in Environmental Management and a BSc in Biochemistry. She also holds a BSc in Environmental Conservation from Wroclaw University, Poland. Marta’s interests include soil science, environmental management and conservation, climate change, biogeochemical processes in ecosystems, water chemistry and water management. Marta has breadth of research experience in these areas, including analysing microbial responses to temperature and nitrogen perturbations in subarctic soils, investigating optimal conditions for quorum sensing detection and cell-to-cell communication using signalling compounds, and she has been part of a team analysing greenhouse gas emissions from subarctic lakes at Abisko Scientific Research Station, Sweden.

Marta is currently an NERC-funded PhD student at the NERC British Antarctic Survey and the School of Biosciences of Cardiff University, researching soil fungal responses to warming in polar regions. Temperature increases in polar regions are already having important effects on ecosystems, but still little is known of how warming might affect polar soil fungi. These fungi are a key group in soil ecosystems globally and pivotal to many ecosystem processes, notably nutrient cycling. Marta’s participation in the AFBA team will provide her with an excellent opportunity to collect material that would contribute to her existing PhD research, in addition to contributing more widely to the BAS ‘Biodiversity, Evolution and Adaptation’ research Team, whose research foci include understanding the multiple effects of change in cold ecosystems.