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Project title: Impact of soil and grassland management on plant-microbial interactions that mediate organic matter mineralization and nitrogen supply.

Overview: The sustainability of agricultural systems is threatened by the increasing economic and environmental costs associated with intensive use of nitrogen fertilisers. An implication for Irish grasslands is the adoption of a more sustainable nitrogen management approach, encompassing the supply of much of the seasonal plant nitrogen requirement from soil organic matter. Irish grassland soils have the potential to supply large quantities of nitrogen from soil organic matter.

However, the underlying mechanism and the interactive role of plants and soil microorganisms involved are not exactly known, making it difficult to predict N supply from soil organic matter to incorporate into nitrogen management recommendations. Jebril is building on previous knowledge on soil organic matter mineralisation generated in Teagasc. He is investigating how soil type, multi-species sward and fertilisation impact soil organic matter mineralisation and nitrogen supply. A key component of his research is to use molecular approaches to improve knowledge on the group of soil microorganisms mediating the process in order to link soil organic matter mineralisation to plant growth.

Main research topics:

  • Soil organic matter mineralisation
  • Nitrogen Supply
  • Soil Microorganisms
  • Multi-species sward
  • Fertilisation

Jebril has background in soil nutrient management and organic matter dynamics, and his long term goal is to become a soil science academic. His hobbies are gardening, playing soccer, and watching movies

Programme area: Soil microbiology and nutrient supply

Supervisor: Dr Fiona Brennan, Dr David Wall, Dr Nabla Kennedy

Location: Teagasc, Johnstown Castle, Co. Wexford

Funding source: Teagasc