PhD Inga Hiiesalu
Inga.Hiiesalu [at] ut.ee
I am broadly interested in community ecology, namely in the belowground compartment. Specifically I am investigating how AMF and their host plant richness varies along altitudinal gradients in the arid Himalayas, and what are the abiotic and biotic factors underlying the observed patterns. I am fascinated by the ability of plants to grow in one of the most hostile and extreme environments and I am exploring the role of symbiotic fungi in plant adaptation and ultimately structure of high-altitude plant communities. I utilize next-generation sequencing and bioinformatical tools to analyze AM fungal communities across various spatial scales.
In addition to research on AM fungi I am dealing with the effects of land-use change on plant belowground diversity in semi-natural grasslands.
I am the principal investigator of a personal research grant funded by the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research “Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi along altitudinal gradients: relationships with evolutionary and ecological processes at multiple spatial scales” (2016-2019).