Estela Foltran


I graduated with my BSc and MSc in Forest Engineering in the College “Luiz de Queiroz” - University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Since my BSc studies I worked with silviculture and forest management on planted forest, mainly Eucalyptus plantations. For my Master’s Thesis, which was conducted in a multidisciplinary research group Brazil-Spain-France, I worked with P dynamics in the soil-plant system and analysed the several mechanisms developed by Eucalyptus under stress conditions (nutritional and water). At the University of Navarra-Spain, I worked with low molecular organic acid in Eucalyptus tissues to better understand the plant strategies to uptake P under low-P soils, I also investigated fine root dynamics, mycorrhizae and acid phosphatase in collaboration with CIRAD-France.
I started my PhD in 2017, as member of the first cohort of RTG2300 – EnriCo. During my thesis I investigated nutrient, carbon and nitrogen stocks along pure and mixed forest at Northern Germany, as well the stability of soil organic matter (SOM) using particulate organic matter (POM) method followed by stable isotopes signals (13C and 15N). Through the STIM (short-term international mentoring) program offered by the University of Göttingen, I could visit Prof. Dr. Francesca Cotrufo’s lab at Colorado State University (Fort Collins – USA), where we developed a collaboration to test the dataset (POM) on the C stabilization model developed at her group. On September 2020, I got an invitation to attain a postdoc position at INRAe and in February 2021 I started working at INRA-ISPA group (Interaction soil, plant and atmosphere). The multidisciplinary group led by Denis Loustau is responsible to develop the GO + process model which is used to describe and simulate the biophysical and biogeochemical functioning of forests in response to global change and forestry management. My general task is to model the main processes of the N and P cycles in the soil and vegetation, coupling with C cycle in order to enhance the Go+ model accuracy.

PhD project

Estela's PhD project is entitled Matter cycling and nutrient efficiency in mixed and pure stands. The general objectives are

  1. to analyze the Douglas-fir specific traits of nutrient mobilization from soil and nutrient use efficiency in comparison to Norway spruce and European beech

  2. to trace the Douglas-fir specific patterns of nutrient cycling with focus on litter quality, and

  3. to examine the differences and impacts of mixtures of European beech with Douglas-fir or Norway spruce on nutrient availability and C sequestration in mineral soil.

PhD Thesis

My thesis entitled: "The admixture of Douglas fir or Norway spruce to European beech - effects on upper soil conditions at different sites in northern Germany" was submitted in January 2021 and defended in March 2021. The thesis committee was composed by Prof. Dr. Norbert Lamersdorf, Christian Ammer and Joerg Prietzel.