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Belinda C Martin

Belinda C Martin
University of Western Australia & Ooid Scientific

Ph.D. (microbial ecology and plant science)

About

21
Publications
15,739
Reads
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391
Citations
Introduction
My current research focus is plant physiology and plant-microbial and plant-sediment interactions in seagrass ecosystems. My long-term research goal is to improve our understanding of microbial functions in ecosystems and find novel ways to upscale this information into ecosystem management.
Additional affiliations
January 2015 - present
University of Western Australia
Position
  • Demonstrator
Description
  • Demonstrator for Marine Systems, Plant and animal Biology
March 2013 - March 2015
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
Position
  • Research Project Officer
Description
  • Planned and conducted plant pathogenicity experiments to investigate the molecular interactions between the root-rot causing pathogen Rhizoctonia solani and wheat cultivars.
March 2011 - March 2012
University of Western Australia
Position
  • Research Assistant
Description
  • Developed new protocols and improve software for imaging plant leaf traits used in metabolic scaling theory.
Education
March 2015 - March 2018
University of Western Australia
Field of study
  • Plant Biology, Microbial Ecology and Marine Biology
March 2012 - March 2013
University of Western Australia
Field of study
  • Environmental Science
March 2008 - March 2010
James Cook University Brisbane
Field of study
  • Ecology

Publications

Publications (21)
Article
Monitoring of seagrasses has mainly relied on traditional seagrass metrics (e.g., biomass), which deliver reliable information about mortality but are unable to inform about impacts on seagrass health at the very early stages of stress exposure. Metabolomics is a novel molecular technique which can be used for early stress-detection in plants and a...
Article
Full-text available
Seagrasses are globally recognized as bioindicators of marine eutrophication and contamination. Seagrasses also harbor a distinct root microbial community that largely reflects the conditions of the surrounding environment as well as the condition of the seagrass. Hence monitoring changes in the root microbial community could act as an additional b...
Article
Full-text available
The Kimberley region of Western Australia is a National Heritage listed region that is internationally recognised for its environmental and cultural significance. However, petroleum spills have been reported at a number of sites across the region, representing an environmental concern. The region is also characterised as having low soil nutrients,...
Article
Full-text available
Cable bacteria are sulfide-oxidizing, filamentous bacteria which reduce toxic sulfide levels, suppress methane emissions, and drive nutrient and carbon cycling in sediments. Recently, cable bacteria have been found associated with roots of aquatic plants and rice (Oryza sativa). However, the extent to which cable bacteria are associated with aquati...
Article
Seagrasses and lucinid bivalves inhabit highly reduced sediments with elevated sulphide concentrations. Lucinids house symbiotic bacteria (Ca. Thiodiazotropha) capable of oxidising sediment sulphide, and their presence in sediments has been proposed to promote seagrass growth by decreasing otherwise phytotoxic sulphide levels. However, vast and pro...
Article
Full-text available
AimsThis study aimed to determine the structure of the bacterial community inhabiting the roots and rhizosheath of sweet potato cultivars, and how these bacterial communities respond to P addition and subsequent changes in carboxylate exudation by sweet potato roots.Methods Five sweet potato cultivars were grown with and without P addition in a low...
Article
Soils in the riparian zone, the interface between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, may decrease anthropogenic nitrogen (N) loads to streams through microbial transformations (e.g., denitrification). However, the ecological functioning of riparian zones is often compromised due to degraded conditions (e.g. vegetation clearing). Here we compare th...
Preprint
Full-text available
Seagrasses and lucinid bivalves inhabit highly reduced sediments with elevated sulphide concentrations. Lucinids house symbiotic bacteria (Ca. Thiodiazotropha) capable of oxidising sediment sulphide, and their presence in sediments has been proposed to promote seagrass growth by decreasing otherwise phytotoxic sulphide levels. However, vast and pro...
Article
The development of early warning indicators that identify ecosystem stress is a priority for improving ecosystem management. As microbial communities respond rapidly to environmental disturbance, monitoring their composition could prove one such early indicator of environmental stress. We combined 16S rRNA gene sequencing of the seagrass root micro...
Article
Full-text available
Microbes are fundamentally important to the maintenance of all habitats, including those in the ocean: they govern biogeochemical cycles, contribute to resistance from disease and nutritional requirements of macroorganisms and provide enormous biological and genetic diversity. The oceanic environment of the west coast of Australia is dominated by t...
Article
Seagrasses thrive in anoxic sediments where sulphide can accumulate to phytotoxic levels. So how do seagrasses persist in this environment? Here, we propose that radial oxygen loss (ROL) from actively growing root tips protects seagrasses from sulphide intrusion not only by abiotically oxidising sulphides in the rhizosphere of young roots, but also...
Article
The presence of oxygen in seagrass tissues, which plays a role in preventing seagrass die-off, is partly regulated by environmental conditions. Here, we examined the relationship between oxygen (O2) in the rhizomes of Posidonia sinuosa and key environmental variables at Garden Island, Western Australia. We made in situ measurements of internal oxyg...
Article
Full-text available
Seagrass roots host a diverse microbiome that is critical for plant growth and health. Composition of microbial communities can be regulated in part by root exudates, but the specifics of these interactions in seagrass rhizospheres are still largely unknown. As light availability controls primary productivity, reduced light may impact root exudatio...
Article
While light availability plays a critical role in seagrass growth and distribution, there is limited understanding of how changes in light exposure impact belowground processes. We investigated the effect of prolonged and fluctuating reductions in light on root growth and exudation by three colonizing seagrasses: Cymodocea serrulata, Halophila oval...
Poster
Full-text available
Poster presented at The Australian Microbial Ecology (AusMe2017), Melbourne, 2017
Article
Full-text available
Petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs) are among the most prevalent sources of environmental contamination. It has been hypothesized that plant root exudation of low molecular weight organic acid anions (car-boxylates) may aid degradation of PHCs by stimulating heterotrophic microbial activity. To test their potential implication for bioremediation, we appl...
Article
Full-text available
Petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs) are among the most prevalent sources of environmental contamination. It has been hypothesized that plant root exudation of low molecular weight organic acid anions (carboxylates) may aid degradation of PHCs by stimulating heterotrophic microbial activity. We, therefore, applied two commonly-exuded carboxylates (citrate...
Article
Full-text available
Rhizoremediation is a bioremediation technique whereby enhanced microbial degradation of organic contaminants occurs within the plant root zone (rhizosphere). It is considered an effective and affordable 'green technology' for remediating soils contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs). This paper critically reviews the potential role of root...

Questions

Question (1)
Question
Does anyone have any good ideas on how to desalt small volumes of seawater (1mL)? My aim is to remove inorganic salts prior to injection on LC-MS for analysis of LMW organic acids and GC-MS for sugars and amino acids. I have considered a few desalting columns, but many appear to be geared at analysing proteins and not LMW organic compounds. I have tried passing some sample through a resin with both cation and anion exchange, but there still seemed to be high salt at the end. 

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
Our research is focussed on developing a better mechanistic understanding of the role of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in a range of terrestrial and aquatic settings, which are mainly oligotrophic.
Project
Much in the same way that we rely on our gut flora to help digest our food, seagrasses also rely on microbes living in, on or near their roots (the rhizosphere) to regenerate their nutrients. However, the interaction among seagrass roots, the sediments and the microbes they contain remains, quite literally, in the dark. Gaining a greater understanding of these interactions is imperative if we are to better manage these ecosystems, particularly as seagrass habitat continues to disappear across the globe. My research therefore aims to shed some light on the seagrass rhizosphere by characterizing root released organic matter and oxygen, and determining its role in microbial nutrient cycling