Laynara Figueiredo Lugli
College: College of Life and Environmental Sciences
Department: School of Biosciences
I graduated as a forest engineer from the Federal University of Mato Grosso, in Brazil. Such choice was mostly guided by my interest in understand forest functioning, especially the relationship between above and below ground compartments in Amazon forests. During my undergraduate program I studied carbon cycling between litter and soils in different reforestation sites in the Amazon biome.
Following my ecological studies about nutrient cycling, I studied at the National Institute of Amazonian Research for my M.Phil. in Tropical Forest Sciences. During the 2-year program, with extensive filed and lab work, I studied the nutrient cycling in Amazonian forests under different soil fertility and in particular, the importance of coarse woody debris as a source and sink of nutrients. After realising the importance of nutrient availability, especially phosphorus, to Amazon forest functioning I worked for more 2 years in a fellowship in Brazil with GEOMA (Thematic Network of Geoinformation and Environmental Modelling of Amazonia), trying to include nutrient cycling in a Brazilian dynamic model to better predict forest responses in the future global climate changes.
Now I'm in my second year Ph.D. at the University of Exeter and my goal is to use my research background to investigate how soil phosphorus, a well-known limiting nutrient to forest productivity in the tropics, cycle in soil and how this process affects and is affect by plants and microorganisms. With such information I also expect to produce valuable information about the mechanistic functioning of Amazon forest regarding climate and environmental changes in future scenarios. My project, entitled "Dynamics and biological interactions of phosphorus cycling in Central Amazonian forests" is funded by the Brazilian government and supervised by Professors Iain Hartley and Lina Mercado, both from the University of Exeter.