Congratulations to Waite PhD student  Erinne Stirling who is this week sharing the stage with more than 2000 fellow soil scientists at the 21st World Congress of Soil Science (WCSS) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Erinne will present her research at the congress having won a highly competitive Soil Science Australia scholarship to support her travel and participation costs.

A PhD candidate from the University of Adelaide, Erinne will present a poster on her topic: Fire influences on litter decomposition: C chemistry and N transformations in thermally altered Pinus radiate needles.

She said she was looking forward to networking with other “soil nerds” and making the most of the jam-packed conference program.

“Without the scholarship, it would have been much more difficult for me to attend,” Stirling said. “I’m excited to be presenting my research on the post fire litter layer—the leaves and sticks that fall after a fire—and what it means for bushfire carbon accounting in Australia and overseas.

“There is already a lot of research on soil physical and chemical responses to bushfires, but I am more interested in the impact of fire on litter and nutrient cycling in nutrient poor soils. The knock-on effects of fire are an important consideration for land recovery.”

“Presenting your own work at a major international forum early in your career can be a real turning point,” said Soil Science Australia Federal President, Associate Professor John Bennett CPSS. “As the industry peak body, we want to ensure the next generation of leading soil scientists have as many opportunities as possible to develop their technical expertise and also create professional connections for future collaboration.”

Soil Science Australia supports students and early career researchers and practitioners through a range of initiatives including financial support to attend key conferences such as the WCSS.

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