Diaries of our 2023 Interns
My research identifies specific rice root traits associated with carbon sequestration under varying water availability conditions, including well-drained, flooded, and drought conditions. Additionally, I aim to pinpoint lines and phenotypic characteristics that can contribute to enhancing carbon sequestration in rice crops.
Gene Editing Platform
I am researching rice breeding using the CRISPR-CAS9 technique, which allows for producing more productive rice varieties and carbon storage through profound rooting ability and higher photosynthetic efficiency.
As a current Bezos Earth Fund Fellow, I am working on the evaluation and characterization of aboveground and root biomass of forage grasses. More specifically, I am evaluating response mechanisms to shade for the quality of aerial biomass that can be used for the selection of higher quality materials.
I am also evaluating the response of the root system architecture and chemical traits that directly affect the recalcitrant condition of the root, which is very important in capturing soil organic carbon. These activities are being carried out in the Forage Physiology area.
I work in the Forages Program with the team led by Dr. Jacobo Arango. Our research focuses on evaluating the interactions between tropical forage, soil, and microorganisms in relation to organic carbon storage as part of a 19-year experiment. For this purpose, we will measure soil chemical, physical, and biological parameters, as well as carbon and nitrogen content in the aerial and root biomass of pastures.
Our goal is to establish significant relationships between these elements and, at the same time, to quantify the amount of organic carbon that has accumulated in the soil thanks to the presence of these pastures, which were set up almost two decades ago.
I am part of a team focused on training and testing machine learning models for carbon absorption and sequestration. To do this, we collect, annotate, and analyse test sites images using a sensor. Our main objective is to validate a methodology for quantifying carbon concentrations in soil, in order to increase efficiency, productivity, and sustainability, reducing costs and minimizing negative impacts on the environment.
I am working on a groundbreaking project in Multifunctional Landscapes to harness genetic diversity for enhanced carbon capture in tropical soils. Our research, spanning Latin America and Africa, aims to demonstrate that specially designed deep-rooted forage grass and rice genotypes can significantly boost soil organic carbon (SOC) storage in crop-livestock systems.
This is an innovative project because it capitalizes on the opportunity to capture carbon in agricultural soils, addressing global soil organic matter losses. Our approach combines environmental data and on-site soil measurements to create high-resolution digital SOC maps in Colombian tropical savanna areas. These maps will pinpoint regions with high SOC accumulation potential, especially in the Orinoco region.
I am part of the soil research team working under the guidance of Dr. Mayesse da Silva. Currently, we are identifying a soil biological property that fits the Carbon Sequestration Project to present a faster turnover answer on soil organic matter turnover and to integrate a soil health analysis.
Hopefully, we will use this selected biological property as a proxy to elucidate carbon dynamics in the short-term. I am also supporting the team three times per week with laboratory procedures for aggregate stability and analysis of granulometric fractions of soil organic matter.
In the project, my main role is validating a sensor that measures the amount of carbon in the soil at different depths. In this project, 24 validation samples have been taken, and a methodology has been designed to compare the dates taken using geostatistics.
Data from the soil, rice cultivation, and drone flights are being consolidated to create a database.
Tropical Forages – Africa
During the internship, a spatial analysis will be carried out to delimit the areas of mixed crop-livestock systems into different zones that will form the basis for the modeling. Within these zones, the impact of annual crops on the soil will be contrasted with perennial crops such as forage.
To achieve this, parameters such as soil organic carbon, period, and type of system management will be evaluated at selected points in the different zones. The development of the model in the region will allow us to use an approach to understand the interaction of the different agricultural landscapes and the production system.
Within the project, we are initially evaluating a diversity panel composed of 205 selected materials planted in two different environments: Palmira (Valle del Cauca) and Santa Rosa (Meta). In Palmira, I have participated in the monitoring of the panel by collecting data on variables associated with yield components.
We are also working on the implementation and use of the Phenome platform, which allows us to collect data on the different variables in the field so that the program researchers can visualize them at any time, guaranteeing continuous access and traceability.
Tropical Forages – Africa
Our team will employ the LCA methodology, CLEANED tool, and data on soil and forage to evaluate mitigation strategies. So far, we have done literature reviews, survey development, and upcoming fieldwork for data collection. Our goal is to offer valuable insights and recommendations for dairy system mitigation in East Africa.
The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT is part of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future.