My research interests have always been linked to the study of degraded lands and the underlying mechanisms that allow the recovery of such environments. My road started with my degree in Renewable Natural Resources Engineering with a special focus in Arid Lands from the National University of Cuyo in Mendoza, Argentina. The emphasis of my studies there was the on management of natural resources in dry environments. My research back there was related to assessing the potential recovery after abandonment of farmlands within the Monte Desert Biome in Argentina. I wanted to understand whether passive restoration (by halting all agricultural activities and left for fallow) could be an appropriate strategy for the recovery and later conservation of these dry lands.
Still interested on ecosystem degradation, but this time related to plant invasions, my PhD took me to the Technical University of Munich in Germany thanks to a full PhD scholarship for three years by the Erasmus Mundus Arcoiris Program (granted by the European Commission). With this project I aimed to find ways to increase the resistance of native communities to the invasion of alien plant species in the context of ecological restoration. By means of a theoretical framework, I designed native grassland communities potentially resistant to alien invasive species and tested them in various greenhouse experiments.
My current work have incorporated the underground perspective on plant invasions, by investigating the role that soil bacterial communities may have in explaining invasion success and how they influence ecosystem restoration. For further information on my current research interests, please visit the “Research interests” section.
El Leoncito National Park, San Juan, Argentina