The University of Sydney - Biogeochemistry Group

Dijkstra Laboratory 

Dijkstra Lab


Dr. Feike Dijkstra
Associate Professor

I am a biogeochemist with interest in all aspects of plant-microbial interactions affecting carbon, nutrient, and water cycling in managed and unmanaged systems.


Dr. Paola Corneo

I am a postdoc in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences and I am interested in studying the rhizosphere soil, the most active compartment in the soil, where plants and microbes interact and reciprocally affect each other. I am involved in the study of soil health in agriculture soils. In particular, I am studying the effect of different wheat genotypes on the biological and chemical components of the soil.


Shiva Bakhshandeh

I am interested in how terrestrial environments change under different conditions including climate change, plant roots, microorganisms and organic matter. I am involved in the study of wheat genotypes (G) × environment (E, water stress, temperature), and management (M, fertilizer) interactions on soil health and key process of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus turnover.

Shamim Mia

Biochar is receiving increased attention for carbon sequestration and soil amendment for high nutrient utilization efficiency. Long term effects of biochar on nutrient cycling is needed for understanding of its future unveiling effects. I am interested to investigate how biochar ageing will affect nitrogen and phosphorus dynamics in soil-plant systems.

Kazi Mehnaz

I am interested in understanding the role of available phosphorus (P) on nitrogen (N) transformations and its loss from soil. I will look at the effect of P addition on gross N mineralization and nitrification and loss of N as nitrous oxide (N2O) from microbial nitrification and denitrification. A variety of soil types with different physicochemical properties will be analysed to find out any interaction of soil properties with available P in N mineralization and N2O emission.

Mohammad Rahmat Ullah

My research is mainly focused on understanding the effects of drought and soil organic amendments on carbon and nutrient mineralization in a grassland of Australia. Moreover, I am interested in examining the relationships between the microbial carbon use efficiency and enzymatic activity that affect soil organic matter decomposition during drying-rewetting cycles.


Liming Yin, visiting PhD student 2017. Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang, China.

Alberto Canarini, PhD student 2013-2016. Now postdoc at University of Vienna, Austria (website).

Pierre Mariotte, postdoc 2014-2016. Now postdoc at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland (website).

Hero Tahaei, research assistant 2012-2016. Now research assistant with A/Prof Brent Kaiser, The University of Sydney.

Mathilde Cassani, visiting MS student 2015. École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland.

Maggie Norton, research assistant 2015. Now at Iowa State University, USA.

Mingzhu He, visiting scientist from Shapotou Desert Research and Experiment Station, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, China, 2013-2014.

Yolima Carrillo, postdoc 2011-2012. Now lecturer at Western Sydney University (website).