Max Planck Gesellschaft

Perla Griselle Mellado Vazquez

PhD candidate (IMPRS-gBGC)

Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Group of PD Dr. Gerd Gleixner

street:Hans-Knöll-Str. 10
zip, city:07745, Jena
phone:+49 3641 576131
fax:+49 3641 576101

Research Interests

  • Soil microbial C dynamics
  • Soil organic matter storage
  • Carbon characterization (fate and sources)

Academic Career

  • since Jan 2012: PhD student at the Max Planck Institute Biogeochemistry
  • 2009-2011: Master in Science in Aquatic Chemistry, National Autonomous University of Mexico
    • Thesis: Recent geochronology with 210Pb of the accumulation of organic carbon and persistent organic pollutants (PAH’s and PCB’s) in two sites of the Mexican Pacific Continental Shelf
  • 2010 (Jan-Jun): Research stay: “Resuspension of coastal sediments assessed from 228Th/232Th activity ratio” Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP). Canadian Bureau for International Education. University of Quebec in Montreal. Montreal, Canada
  • 2008 (Sept-Nov): Research stay: Carbon and nitrogen elemental analysis in marine sediments (IAEA-CIEMAT) Madrid, Spain
  • 2008 (Dec): Research stay: Determination of persistent organic pollutants (PAHs and PCBs) in marine sediments (IAMC-CNR) Naples, Italy
  • 2003-2007 Bachelor in Environmental Biochemistry Engineer, Technological Institute of Mazatlan, Mexico
    • Thesis: Inventories of organic and inorganic carbon in the sedimentary column in diverse Mexican aquatic systems (coastal and lacustrine)

PhD project

PhD topic: Effects of biotic and abiotic factors on soil carbon cycle dynamics mediated by soil microorganisms

The main objective my PhD project is to identify interactions between aboveground (plants) and belowground (soil microbes) components and the role that this relationship plays in the storage and cycling of carbon in soils. In order to achieve the main propose, it is planned to analyze microbial activity in soils from 3 different approaches: first we will study seasonal changes in the microbial communities in soils naturally label with C3 and C4 plants, this approach will allow us to determine the ability of microbes to trace the 13C signal of plants into the soils. In another perspective, we will investigate the relationship of soil microorganisms and plant diversity in a long-term biodiversity experiment (The Jena Experiment). Finally we will work with samples from the Ecotron experiment to determine the efficiency of plants to uptake labelled 13CO2 and transfer the newly photosynthsized carbon to the microbrial communities in the soil by measuring the isotopic signal of carbon in soil microbes (through PLFA and NLFA analysis).

Presentations at International Meetings:

- Mellado -Vázquez P. G., Lange M. and Gleixner G. The soil microbial community composition and soil microbial carbon uptake are more affected by soil type than by different vegetation types (C3 and C4 plants) and seasonal changes. European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2016. Vienna, Austria. (April 17-22, 2016). PICO-Presenting interactive content.

- Mellado -Vázquez P. G., Lange M, Griffiths R, Malik A, Ravenek A, Strecker T, Eisenhauer N and Gleixner G. Mechanisms controlling the plant diversity effect on soil microbial community composition and soil microbial diversity. AGU Fall meeting. San Francisco, California USA (December 14-18, 2015). Poster presentation

- Mellado -Vázquez P. G., Lange M., Gleixner G. Tracing the recently photosythesized carbon into soil microorganisms: A plant diversity experiment. PhD-EES Conferece. Jena, Germany (March 12-14, 2014). Poster presentation

- Mellado -Vázquez P. G., Lange M., Landais D., Piel C., Escape C., Devidal S., Ravel O., Milcu A., Roy J., Gleixner G. Different microbial groups contribute differentially to carbon cycling in soils.GfOe. Potsdam, Germany (September 09-13, 2013). Talk

- Mellado -Vázquez P. G., Lange M., Landais D., Piel C., Escape C., Devidal S., Ravel O., Milcu A., Roy J., Gleixner G. Effects of biodiversity on the flow of carbon from aboveground to belowground systems. INTECOL. Into the next 100 years. London, UK (August 18-23, 2013). Poster presentation

- Mellado -Vázquez P. G., Lange M. and Gleixner G. Seasonal variations in the microbial community structure in soil in a vegetation change experiment. 3rd International Student Conference on Microbial Communication. Jena, Germany (November 5 - 8, 2012). Poster presentation

- Ruiz-Fernandez A. C., Sanchez-Cabeza J. A., Bojorquez-Sanchez S., Bojorquez-Leyva H., Perez-Bernal L. H., Mellado-Vázquez P. G., Alonso-Hernandez C., Diaz-Ascencio M., Gerardo Abaya J., Quejido-Cabezas A. J., Sericano J. L. and Paez-Osuna F. Heavy metals and sediment fluxes in Coatzacoalcos River Estuary: a history of land use changes. Goldschmidt Conference “Challenges to our volatile planet” Davos, Switzerland (Jun 21-26, 2009)

- Ruiz-Fernández A. C., Mellado-Vázquez P. G., Bojorquez-Sanchez S. and Páez-Osuna F. Geochemical Characterization of Anthropogenic Effects in Coastal Lagoons at the Northern Pacific Coast of Mexico. American Geophysical Union Joint Assembly. Acapulco, Mexico (May 22-25, 2007)


Non-peer reviwed:

Mellado -Vázquez P. G, and Quejido-Cabezas A., 2008. The history of the coastal zones of the Great Caribbean told through their sediments. CIEMAT-Vertices. Madrid, Spain (December, 2008)


Lange M., Eisenhauer N., Sierra C. A., Bessler H., Engels C. , Griffith R. I., Mellado-Vázquez P. G., Malik A., Roy J., Scheu S., Steinbeiss S., Thomson B. C., Trumbore S. E.& Gleixner G., 2015. Plant diversity increases soil microbial activity and soil carbon storage. Nature Communications 6, Article number: 6707 doi:10.1038/ncomms7707

Mellado-Vázquez P. G., Lange M., Bachmann D., Gockele A., Karlowsky S., Milcu A., Piel C., Roscher C., Roy J. and Gleixner G., 2016. Plant diversity generates enhanced soil microbial access to recently photosynthesized carbon in the rhizosphere. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 94, 122-132

Submitted & In preparation:

Malik A., Chowdhary S., Schlager V., Oliver A., Mellado-Vázquez P. G., Jehmlich N., Griffiths R., Gleixner G. Soil microbial communities’ fungal:bacterial dominance is linked to its carbon storage potential. Under review by Frontiers in Microbiology

Mellado-Vázquez P. G., Lange M. and Gleixner G. The microbial community composition and microbial carbon uptake are more affected bz soil tyte than by different vegetation types (C3 and C4 plants) and changes between seasons. To be submitted to SBB

Mellado-Vázquez P. G., Lange M., Griffith R., Malik A., Ravenek J., Strecker T., Eisenhauer N and Gleixner G..Mechanistic effects of plant species richness on soil basal respiration are mediated by soil microbial community composition. In preparation

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