Area: Resource Exploitation and Management
Field: Exploitation of Biological Resources
Main Research: Soil science and entomology
Rebecca is an agronomist/soil scientist by training, in her early years she was inspired by her Urban Farming experience; which led her to investigate nature’s own fertilizer factories, namely biological nitrogen fixation, specifically in trees; for the restoration of open cast coal spoil. She then went on to measure and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from soils, which led her to the UN-FAO/IAEA here in Austria, where she took up the challenge of measuring plant nutrient uptake from complex organic residues using her tools of choice stable isotopes. During her time at the UN she worked on a number of projects to develop isotope tools to improve agricultural production in developing countries. As a consequence of the IAEA rotation policy and wanting to stay in Austria Rebecca joined the Mosquito Group of the IAEA, where she developed isotope tools for marking and understanding the biology and ecology of insects. Moving on from there, she went on to develop and work on the WWTF-Nitrogenome project at the University of Vienna, in 2010 she was awarded the FWF Elise Richter Fellowship to study the impact of biochar on nitrogen cycling in soils. Having gained her Habilitation from the BOKU in 2014, Rebecca joined the AIT staff in 2015, where she has been working on a portfolio of soil science and entomology projects wielding her stable isotope expertise.