Lydia Jennings won first place for her oral presentation entitled: Microbial Bio-indicators of Degraded Soil Development on Reclaimed Mine Tailings in Southern Arizona at the 2019 University of Arizona Earth Week SWESx Day celebration. Jennings presented research that aims to improve revegetation strategies by working with mining companies to develop microbial indicators that quantify soil formation improvement during revegetation of mine tailings. She is evaluating soil quality using several biogeochemical indicators including: heterotrophic plate counts, particle size, soil texture analysis, pH, electrical conductivity, DNA biomass, 16S bacterial qPCR, and 16S archaea qPCR. By demonstrating temporal patterns that correlate with successful plant growth on more established reclaimed areas, Jennings hopes to understand which soil quality changes in depth profiles might indicate significant factors important to the selection of soil capping materials for mine waste coverage and long term plant establishment. The goal is improved understanding of cover materials to facilitate more effective and economical reclamation strategies and can potentially decrease destruction of offsite desert areas.
Jennings said of the award: “I’m delighted to be recognized by our department for my research. It is an honor to represent my research group, the Superfund Research Program, and the Center for Environmentally Sustainable Mining as we work towards using data to drive management decisions in reclamation technology.”
The UA SRP congratulates Lydia Jennings on this award!