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Dixi Ghael

Name: Dixi Ghael             Degree: M.Sc. candidate

Dixi Ghael

I am a Master’s Student in Soil Science, Faculty of Land and Food systems under Dr. Suzanne Simard. I received my Master’s degree in Biotechnology from South Gujarat University, India in 2012.

After my graduation, I joined CSIR- Central salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute in India. I was working there on a project titled as “Isolation of Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria from rhizospheres of halophytic plants.” The main aim of this project was to look for bacteria that promote growth of various crops in salt stressed soils. Due to increasing population, the agricultural lands are decreasing in India and the coastal soils are inaccessible for the crop cultivation. This project was mainly focused to make those soils accessible for cultivation. During that tenure, I realized that I have special affinity for the environment. I have interacted with lots of farmers and local people regarding my work. I personally think that communicating scientific research to the common people is easy through the ways of entertainment like movies, games, advertisements etc.  Therefore, I am so excited by the idea of TerreWeb to communicate our research to the world and create awareness about the environment.

My research work is mainly on Armillaria root disease affecting Douglas fir trees. Anecdotal evidence is that Armillaria root disease is increasing in prevalence, probably as a result of climate change and management practices. The most common management technique for reducing disease incidence in plantations is destumping, but this practice is expensive and can damage soils. Another more ecologically suitable alternative is establishment of native tree species mixtures that include susceptible and resistant species, such as mixes of interior Douglas-fir (highly susceptible) and paper birch (resistant). Several mechanisms are thought to lead to resistance in mixed stands, including reduced probability of loss, gaps in pathogen inoculum continuum, and synergistic microbial interactions.  So, I will be working on below ground processes which will give us insights of the microbiological interactions in regards to Armillaria fungus.  Hence, I am looking forward to make a remarkable progress using this absolutely amazing opportunity offered by TerreWeb!

Research Topic: Investigating below ground processes and understanding the microbiological interactions and health of Douglas fir trees in regards to Armillaria fungus.

Supervisor: Dr. Suzanne Simard

 

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