Dr Nina Lindstrom Friggens
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Amory Building, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4RJ , UK
Office hours: 09:00-17:00 hrs
Nina is a plant-soil ecologist investigating the carbon cycle in the Arctic and permafrost regions. Her current work focuses on whether the formation of new soil organic matter through plant inputs can offset the predicted loss of carbon from thawing permafrost soils.
Nina’s academic career to date has been centered on understanding the dynamics of plant-soil interactions and their effects on soil carbon storage and climate change. The primary focus of her research is the dependent interactions between plants and soil mediated by mycorrhizal fungi and how this drives soil carbon storage dynamics in a changing world.
During her PhD at the University of Stirling (2016-2020) she investigated how planting native tree species onto heather moorlands in the Scottish uplands affects ecosystem carbon storage, both above and below ground, over decadal time scales. She also spent a considerable amount of time in the Swedish sub-Arctic exploring how tree-line forest species interact with soils via roots and mycorrhizas using stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen
Broad Research Specialisms
Plant-soil interactions, Soil carbon dynamics, tree planting, stable isotope labelling, Arctic ecology Plant-soil interactions, Soil carbon dynamics, tree planting, stable isotope labelling, Arctic ecology
BSc (Hons) Plant Science, University of Edinburgh
PhD ‘Webs of influence: Investigating the effects of the forest mycorrhizosphere on soil carbon storage in a changing world’, University of Stirling
Nina is interested in the links between plants and soil, how processes above ground affect processes below ground and vice versa, particularly in the context of global change. Globally soils store more carbon than vegetation and the atmosphere combined, most of which is stored at high latitudes and in the Arctic where the climate is warming faster than anywhere else on earth. This global change is altering Northern and Arctic plant communities and consequently soil carbon dynamics in ways we have yet to fully understand.
Nina’s current research aims to answer whether the formation of new soil organic matter can offset predicted thaw-induced permafrost soil carbon losses, and if yes, to what extent?
NERC: ‘Can the formation of new soil organic matter offset decomposition losses from thawed permafrost soils?’ (2020-2023)
This NERC funded project led by Professor Iain Hartley will grow an Arctic sedge species Eriophorum vaginatum in contrasting permafrost soil types in a 13C enriched atmosphere. This will enable detection and quantification of plant-derived carbon inputs into different soil organic matter pools as well as soil carbon losses through decomposition and priming.