Dimitar obtained his First Class in BSc Plant Science from The University of Edinburgh in 2014. He was an ERC-funded PhD student in the Beerling Lab group at the University of Sheffield during the period 2014-2018.
His interests are in the fields of Microbial Ecology, Bioinformatics and Biogeochemistry. Special interests include:
- The effect of N2-fixing legumes on mineral weathering and preferential leaching of elements.
- The plant-microbe-mineral interactions dissected through Next-Generation sequencing and omics-approaches as well asin vivoimaging of microbial and root activity in the rhizosphere and bulk soil.
- The weathering genetics of bacteria including heterotrophic and lithotrophic groups.
- The role of poorly described uncultured groups of Acidobacterial lineages in soil and mineral processes.
Some of his contributions include the discovery that N2-fixing legume trees interact with their microbiomes to drive greater weathering rates and targeted nutrient extraction (P, K, Mo) in both Neotropical and Australasian forest systems helping forest recovery and re-growth. More recently, Dimitar and colleagues uncovered a new abundant class of uncultured Acidobacteria in soil – Ca. Acidipotentia, cl. nov., with strong acidifying properties.
His role within LC3M will be directed at conducting mesocosm experiments and field trials investigating and contrasting the utility of N2-fixing and cereal crops as well as their specific belowground microbiomes in C capture through enhanced weathering. In addition, he will also aim to characterise specific candidate genes in crops linked to improved plant-mineral interactions and enhanced weathering.