Topics for theses – BSc, MSc

Above- and belowground drivers of plant invasion success in urban environments

This topic should be suitable for a BSc thesis as is, or a MSc provided that we set-up a greenhouse experiment this year. In this experiment, which was set-up wit Dr Saul during the first lockdown in our balcony, we aim to test whether invasive species would grow better in soil obtained from invaded sites, compared to near-by uninvaded areas. We therefore had one experiment with the invasive Solidago canadensis growing with a native in competition, or S. canadensis and 2 other natives growing alone in both invaded and uninvaded soils.

Context dependency of acacia invasion success

The thesis will be based on a greenhouse competition experiment, testing the effects of shedding and competition on the performance of Acacia saligna. The idea is to evaluate the context dependency of the competitive response of A. saligna, particularly focusing on shading as a indirect modulator. Contact me for more information.  

Indicators of restoration success after clearing A. saligna in South African fynbos

In a collaboration with Dr Saul, we would like to find indicators of restoration success after the clearing of A. saligna. For this we have collected data on invertebrates, ants (in particular), plants, N, C isotopes, soil traits and microbial communities in invaded, cleared and reference sites. Sounds interesting? Then write me an email for further information.

Interested in developing your own project?

The topics suggested can also be complemented with further ideas. Yet, I think is is highly recommendable to develop your own project, specially (but not only), if you would like to have a career in academia. If you are interested in invasive plants, soil microbial communities or synthesis, shoot me an email!

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