Miriam Munoz-Rojas

Dr

  • The University of Western Australia (M084), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Crawley

    Australia

  • 236 Citations
  • 9 h-Index
20132018
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Personal profile

Biography

MSc Environmental Sciences, Centre of Geo-Information Science and Remote Sensing, Wageningen University (The Netherlands)
PhD Natural Resources Management, University of Seville (Spain)

Roles and responsibilities

Currently, I lead one of the four programs of a large scale project, The Restoration Seedbank Initiative, a major multi-disciplinary partnership with The University of Western Australia (UWA), BHP Billiton Iron Ore, and Kings Park and Botanic Garden in Perth, Australia. This project is focussed on developing the science, knowledge, and technical skills to landscape restoration of biodiverse degraded ecosystems. Through my research program I use an integrative approach to understand the functioning of natural and restored ecosystems, with a special focus on the plant-soil system. Specifically, I combine geo-data acquisition, ecophysiological measurements and analytical techniques with experimental and modelling approaches to explore the functioning of natural and disturbed ecosystems in global change scenarios. With these studies I aim to disentangle the mechanisms behind above- and below-ground ecosystems and how these are interconnected. My research in this area includes the analysis and assessment of ecological indicators related to terrestrial ecosystem processes, in particular those associated to soil functionality, such as biological productivity, nutrient cycling, or physical stability and support for plant growth.

Funding overview

• Global Innovation Linkages Programme. Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. Eco-engineering solutions to improve mine-site rehabilitation outcomes (2017-2021). ($1,314,652)

• UWA Research Collaboration Award 2016. Connecting above and belowground processes to restore functionality of arid lands: a comparison between Northern and Southern hemisphere ecosystems. ($19,600)

• UWA Research Collaboration Award 2015. Soil water repellence in biodiverse semi-arid environments: new insights and implications for ecological restoration. ($15,000)

• Restoration Seedbank Initiative Partnership between The University of Western Australia, BHP Billiton Iron Ore, and Kings Park and Botanic Garden (2013-2018) ($5,000,000)

• Fungicide resistance management strategy and communications. Grain Research and Development Corporation (2013 -2017) ($400,000)

• Vulnerability Assessment: Climate change effects on soils (2012), Andalusia Government. Environmental Agency ($88,500)

• Research Fellowship Contract Subprogram Torres Quevedo (MICINN-PTQ), Ministry of Science and Innovation, Spain (2011-2013) ($96,100)

• Development of a decision tool for assessment of carbon sequestration capacity (2010-2012). Andalusia Government, IDEA Agency ($339,000)

Previous positions

Adjunct Lecturer (since March 2017)
University of New South Wales

Consulting Editor - Journal of Arid Environments
Topical Editor - SOIL

Guest Editor- Journal of Environmental Management; Land Degradation & Development

Editor Solid Earth (since June 2016)

Commitee member 
European Geosciences Union; Soil System Division; Subdivision Soil Pollution and Reclamation.
Soil Science Australia (Western Australia Branch)

Current projects

2018-2021 M Muñoz-Rojas. Cyanobacterial bioencapsulation for restoring degraded drylands. ARC Discovery Early Career Award (DECRA) ($365,000)

2018-2021 M Muñoz-Rojas (PI), T Erickson, D Merritt. Novel approaches for harnessing native soil microbial communities to restore biodiverse degraded ecosystems in drylands. Hermon Slade Foundation & Australia and Pacific Science Foundation/Australia Pacific Science Hermon Slade Research Fund ($79,040)

2018 M Muñoz-Rojas(PI), David Eldridge, Wendy Williams, Yolanda canton, Albert Sole. Innovative nature-based strategies for drylands restoration: the potential of indigenous cyanobacteria. UWA Research Collaboration Award ($23,065)

2017-2021 T Erickson, D Merritt, M Muñoz-Rojas, A Guzzomi et al. Eco-engineering solutions to improve mine-site rehabilitation outcomes. Department of Industry, Innovation and Science Global Innovation Linkages Programme ($1,314,652)

Teaching overview

Casual Lecturer at Curtin University.

Climate Change and Adaptations 102
Animal and Plant Physiology 202
Environmental restoration 301

Research

Restoration and conservation of arid ecosystems
Soil carbon dynamics (soil respiration and carbon sequestration)
Global environmental change
Ecological indicators and ecosystem functions
Fire impacts on soils

Languages

English
Spanish
French
Croatian.

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Projects 2015 2018

Research Output 2013 2018

  • 236 Citations
  • 9 h-Index
  • 17 Article
  • 4 Chapter
  • 1 Edited book/Anthology

Cyanobacteria inoculation enhances carbon sequestration in soil substrates used in dryland restoration

Muñoz-Rojas, M., Román, J. R., Roncero-Ramos, B., Erickson, T. E., Merritt, D. J., Aguila-Carricondo, P. & Cantón, Y. 15 Sep 2018 In : Science of the Total Environment. 636, p. 1149-1154 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

carbon sequestration
inoculation
Restoration
cyanobacterium
Carbon
7 Citations

Ecophysiological Indicators to Assess Drought Responses of Arid Zone Native Seedlings in Reconstructed Soils

Bateman, A., Lewandrowski, W., Stevens, J. C. & Muñoz-Rojas, M. 1 Apr 2018 In : Land Degradation and Development. 29, 4, p. 984-993 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Drought
drought
arid zones
seedling
topsoil
2 Citations

Effects of indigenous soil cyanobacteria on seed germination and seedling growth of arid species used in restoration

Muñoz-Rojas, M., Chilton, A., Liyanage, G. S., Erickson, T. E., Merritt, D. J., Neilan, B. A. & Ooi, M. K. J. 1 Aug 2018 In : Plant and Soil. 429, 1-2, p. 91-100 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

seedling growth
Cyanobacteria
cyanobacterium
germination
seed germination
3 Citations

Native-plant amendments and topsoil addition enhance soil function in post-mining arid grasslands

Kneller, T., Harris, R. J., Bateman, A. & Muñoz-Rojas, M. 15 Apr 2018 In : Science of the Total Environment. 621, p. 744-752 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

topsoil
grassland
Soils
soil
Restoration
6 Citations

Benefits of adopting seed-based technologies for rehabilitation in the mining sector: A Pilbara perspective

Erickson, T., Munoz-Rojas, M., Kildisheva, O. A., Stokes, B., White, S., Heyes, J., Dalziell, E. L., Lewandrowski, W., James, J., Madsen, M., Turner, S. R. & Merritt, D. J. 30 Nov 2017 In : Australian Journal of Botany. 65, 8, p. 646-660

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

seed
seeds
Western Australia
iron ore
iron