Dr Songlin Wu

Research Fellow

Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation
Sustainable Minerals Institute

Overview

Songlin Wu is a Research Fellow in Sustainable minerals institute (SMI), The University of Queensland. Songlin got PhD degree on soil ecology from Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), China, and worked as a postdoc researcher in Czech Republic and Research Fellow in UQ, Australia. Songlin is working on rhizosphere/microbial driven biogeochemistry in the soil and sediment system, especially those mine impacted area, degraded land and/or contaminated soils. Bearing more than 10 years’ research experience in the area of environmental geochemistry, Songlin has gained solid background in the field of plant-microbial-soil interaction, mycorrhizal symbiosis, trace elements toxicity and behaviour, mineral weathering, organic matter biogeochemistry and soil structure development. Currently, Songlin mainly focuses on (1) Rhizosphere/microbial mediated mineral phase transformation, organic matter biogeochemistry, organo-mineral interactions, and soil structure development in the mine wastes; (2) Metal(loid) (e.g. cadmium, chromium, arsenic, lead etc) biogeochemistry in rhizosphere ecosystem. He has been being participtated in several large ARC-LP projects aiming to eco-engineering mine wastes into soil like substrates for sustainable mine site rehabilitation.

Songlin has got UQ early career researcher (ECR) award and many research grants from Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation. Songlin is the member of International Mycorrhiza Society (IMS, since Aug 2015), European Geosciences Union EGU (since 2021), and Australian soil science society membership (since 2021). He also serves as Consulting Editor for the Journal Plant and Soil (since April 2021), active reviewer for more than 30 kind of journals (including ES&T, Water research, etc).

QUALIFICATION

B.Sc (Environmental Sciences), Jilin University, China

PhD (Ecology and Biogeochemistry), Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Research Interests

  • Rhizosphere biogeochemistry in soil and mine tailing environments
    1) Eco-engineering mine waste into soil Mine wastes are poor in physical structure due to lack of available minerals and weak physico-chemical conditions. Eco-engineering mine wastes (with low toxic heavy metal level) into soil is a promising pathway for sustainable mine site rehabilitation. Aggregate structure development is one of the key step for soil formation. Fe-Si rich secondary mineral gels could be efficient mineral cements for aggregate structure formation and stability maintenance. I am mainly interested in investigating the processes and mechanisms of Fe-Si rich secondary mineral gels formation in the mine wastes with eco-engineering inputs. Furthermore, the interactions of minerals with organics will also be investigated. Various micro-spectroscopic analysis including synchrotron X-ray based technologies will be employed to examine in detail mineral phases and their relationship with organic groups. The findings will lead to sustainably eco-engineer mine wastes into functional soil-like substrate for mine site rehabilitation. 2) Organic matter biogeochemistry and organo-mineral interactions Organic matter formation, accumulation and stabilization is of critical importance in soil property development. I am interested in investigation of OM origin, chemodiversity, molecular diversity and their dynamic interactions with minerals in the mine wastes undergoing eco-engineered pedogenesis driven by key pioneer plants and microbes (rhizosphere biofilm, mycorrhizal fungi etc). High resolution MS coupled with micro-spectroscopic analysis will be employed to capture OM pool and its interaction with key minerals at fine scale as they occurs. The findings will provide importance information for understanding OC sequestration in mine wastes and ecosystem build-up in the mine site. 3) Trace elements biogeochemistry in plant-microbial-soil system Trace elements (such as Cd, Pb, As, Cu, Zn, Cr etc) contamination has become a great issue in the soil system, which threaten greatly the  ecological stability and sustainable agricultural production. I am particularly interested in study of trace elements speciation and bioavailability in the soil and sediments, as well as their uptake/accumulation and metabolism in plants/microbes via various micro-spectroscopic analysis, which would provide basis for development of new techniques to regulate trace elements behavior in plant-soil system. The study will also contribute to development of technologies towards sustainable remediation of heavy metal contaminated soil.

Qualifications

  • Doctor oh Philosophy, University of the Chinese Academy of Science

Publications

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Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Master Philosophy

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Available Projects

  • Mine wastes such as tailings and/or bauxite residues was poor in organic matter and nitrogen with poor physicochemistry that restrain microbial and plant diversity development. Organic matter stabilization is of great importance in both physical structure (aggregate formation via organo-mineral association) development and ecofunctional development (as energy sources).

    The present study will mainly focus on the processes and mechanisms of organic carbon and nitrogen stabilization in tailings driven by functions tolerant pioneer plant-microbial continuum. The dynamics of mineral associated organic carbon and nitrogen during long-term aggregate turnover driven by plant-microbial activities will be elucidated. Isotopic labelling and various micro-spectroscopic analysis will be employed to zoom in the mechanisms of OC/N association with minerals in the engineered mine wastes. The findings would guide advance eco-engineering pedogenesis of mine waste towards the ecosystem functionality development.

    The PhD project will focus on OM formation and stabilization in the process of eco-engineered soil formation of mine waste (such as bauxite residues), in relation to mineralogical transformation, geochemical changes and microbial community evolution. Depending on applicant's background and interest, the emphasis of the PhD study could be tailored to focus on the nature and fate of OM or aggregate-occluded OC turnover driven by plants and microbes, in the technosols under a gradient of physicochemical conditions. Expected knowledge will contribute to the understanding of pedogenic processes leading to soil formation and sustainable rehabilitation.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Wu, Songlin, Liu, Yunjia, Huang, Longbin, Southam, Gordon, Nguyen, Tuan and You, Fang (2020). Can mycorrhizal fungi stimulate mineral weathering and soil formation in Fe ore tailings?. Goldschmidt2020, Online, 21 - 26 June 2020. Washington, DC United States: Geochemical Society and of the European Association of Geochemistry. doi: 10.46427/gold2020.2901

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • Mine wastes such as tailings and/or bauxite residues was poor in organic matter and nitrogen with poor physicochemistry that restrain microbial and plant diversity development. Organic matter stabilization is of great importance in both physical structure (aggregate formation via organo-mineral association) development and ecofunctional development (as energy sources).

    The present study will mainly focus on the processes and mechanisms of organic carbon and nitrogen stabilization in tailings driven by functions tolerant pioneer plant-microbial continuum. The dynamics of mineral associated organic carbon and nitrogen during long-term aggregate turnover driven by plant-microbial activities will be elucidated. Isotopic labelling and various micro-spectroscopic analysis will be employed to zoom in the mechanisms of OC/N association with minerals in the engineered mine wastes. The findings would guide advance eco-engineering pedogenesis of mine waste towards the ecosystem functionality development.

    The PhD project will focus on OM formation and stabilization in the process of eco-engineered soil formation of mine waste (such as bauxite residues), in relation to mineralogical transformation, geochemical changes and microbial community evolution. Depending on applicant's background and interest, the emphasis of the PhD study could be tailored to focus on the nature and fate of OM or aggregate-occluded OC turnover driven by plants and microbes, in the technosols under a gradient of physicochemical conditions. Expected knowledge will contribute to the understanding of pedogenic processes leading to soil formation and sustainable rehabilitation.