Project: The role of biotic and abiotic interactions in the invasion process of invasive alien plants (co-supervised with Dr. Rodolfo F. Gentili)
Lara is based at the Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca and is interested in better understanding the mechanisms mechanisms underlying invasion success, considering the invasive plants above- and belowground interactions with plants and soil microorganisms. Specifically, she wants to understand how plant-plant competition is mediated by changes in soil biotic and abiotic conditions. For her project she will focus on the invasive species Senecio inaequidens DC. (South African ragwort), a conspicuous invader in Italy, but native to South Africa. She wants to assess if invasion by S. inaequidens shape the native communities trait space, and how this species impact the soil characteristics and microbial communities, potentially modulating its success in three types of ecosystems in the North of Italy.
MSc – Lara Quaglini, MSc project and thesis: Analisi dei tratti morfo-funzionali della specie alloctona invasiva Senecio inaequidens DC. per valutare la resistenza biotica di comunità vegetali native, co-supervised with Dr. Rodolfo F. Gentili, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca
MSc – Phillip Hughes, MSc project and thesis: The limiting similarity of seed size and resource-based suppression: A glasshouse experiment, co-supervised with Prof. J. Kollmann, Technische Universität München
BSc – Leyla Beyer, BSc project and thesis: Effects of the invasion and restoration of Acacia saligna on
Invertebrate Diversity in South African Fynbos, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany