2022 Graduate Award Winner

Nicole Lau

Project: Beyond mountain pine beetle: the influence of root associated fungi on soil carbon sequestration. Nicole is a MSc Student in Conservation Biology in the Department of Renewable Resources which is in the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences. The focus of Nicole’s research is on how changes in mycorrhizal fungal communities, following mountain pine beetle disturbances, influence soil carbon storage.  Nicole is assessing aboveground plant communities and their belowground fungal partners in boreal forests. Root-associated fungi – mycorrhizal fungi – play diverse functional roles in boreal forests, including mediating carbon dynamics. By exploring these relationships, findings in this study could be used to help optimize soil carbon stocks and ecosystem services in recovering boreal forests.