I am Biplabi Bhattarai (ESR3) from Nepal. I did my bachelor’s in forestry from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Following my bachelor’s studies, I pursued my joint Master’s degree in Sustainable forest and nature management from Bangor University, United Kingdom and University of Gottingen, Germany. During my master’s thesis in Gottingen, I studied the functional diversity of plants in different land-use systems in Sumatra, Indonesia. This was a turning point in my academic career as after then, I got into this diverse world of plant functional ecology.

As a PhD student for the FutureArctic ITN at University of Tartu, I am working with the grassland plant roots and focus on the functional adaptations of root-rhizobiome along soil warming gradients. My particular interest is to explore the interaction mechanisms in the belowground through assessment of the root growth and phenology along geothermal soil warming gradient. As ecosystem studies cannot be achieved in isolation, I hope to accomplish my study with synergic interactions between other PhD students involved in this project and combining expertise from various scientific groups.

As a pilot study, I measured fine root biomass of roots and rhizomes separately to understand the biomass allocation by grassland species in response to different temperature gradient. My preliminary results show that fine roots and rhizomes react in a different way to different levels of warming. Furthermore, my result shows short term warming negatively overreacting on fine root biomass of both fine roots and rhizomes in comparison to long term warming making short term fine root-biomass studies questionable.

Now, I am working to link my root-biomass results with root-driven soil biogeochemistry and root phenology. Follow me on twitter for further updates.

“It is in the roots, not the branches, that a plant’s greatest strength lies.”   -Matshona Dhliwayo