Fanni's professional interest in environmental sciences started at her first university, University of Szeged, Hungary. She then transferred to the University of Stirling in 2017 to focus more on practical skill development. In 2021, Fanni graduated from Stirling with an MSci degree in Environmental Sciences after completing her MSci dissertation project, which focused on the relations between climate change and forest management.

Subject Area: Grazing and disturbance as management tools in coastal slacks: Consequences for soil organic matter, biodiversity and functional resilience.

Sand dune wetlands or slacks are biodiverse habitats supporting many rare UK plant, invertebrate and vertebrate species. They are a priority habitat for nature conservation in Europe. Grazing and disturbance are important in coastal habitats for maintaining this conservation value because they prevent succession towards scrub habitat, so appreciating their wider impacts is essential for directing management activities. We have good understanding of how these factors can alter aboveground communities but our knowledge on belowground biodiversity in these systems is limited, particularly in the context of interactions between plants and soil components and consequences for biogeochemical functioning.

This research evaluates how soil microbial communities may develop, and whether altered belowground biodiversity and plant-soil interactions may drive changes in functional soil processes. Furthermore, there is pressing need to better understand how these changes may interact with different grazing or disturbance regimes. Using an established long-term experiment and wider network of study sites, this research tests links between organic matter quality, soil biodiversity and functional resilience in coastal systems, and provide unique belowground evidence to help optimise conservation management strategies.

PGR Supervisors: Dr Jonathan Millett, Dr Aidan Keith, Professor Laurence Jones