M.Sc. Natalie Oram
Interactions between soil microorganisms and plants can impact plant growth and aboveground plant herbivore dynamics. Association between plants and beneficial soil microorganisms, such as plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can improve plant growth and potentially alter plant defenses against aboveground antagonists. Soil fauna, such as earthworms, have been shown to stimulate the soil microbial community, perhaps amplifying their effect on plant defense and aboveground herbivores.
My research goal is to investigate belowground mutualisms between microorganisms and plants, and study their influence on plant growth, synthesis of defense compounds, and aboveground herbivory.