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May we introduce: Florencia and Tom, Rising Star Fellows

Rising Star Fellows Florencia Yannelli and Tom Bielik

Rising Star Fellows Florencia Yannelli and Tom Bielik

Florencia Yannelli

The biologist Florencia Yannelli came to Freie Universität Berlin as a Rising Star Fellow in September 2019. She received the fellowship for a research proposal where seeking to understand how trends in invasive-native plant trait dissimilarity, changing abiotic conditions and soil microbe composition influence the success of invasive alien species in urban environments. Given that there is still a lack in understanding about the linkages between plant and soil communities, with her project she aims to shed light on how both components might work in concert enhancing alien invasive species performance. In this context, two internationally recognized working groups at Freie Universität Berlin covering different aspects in her research, made the University very attractive as the next stop in her career. In the Ecological Novelty group of Prof. Dr. Jonathan Jeschke at the Institute of Biology, she is now investigating this and other aspects influencing how invasive plant species impact plant-microbial interactions and how these changes affect invasion success and ecological restoration. In doing so, she also cooperates with the working group for soil ecology of Prof. Dr. Matthias Rillig.