Mashita (Nina) Chiewattanakul

Image of Nina Chiewattanakul

Postgraduate Student

  • Office Number: W409
  • Telephone: +44 (0)117 3388486
  • Fax: +44 (0)117 925 1295
  • Email:


I graduated from the University of Bristol in 2017 with a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry. My final year research project was completed in the OGU under the supervision of Dr. Jens Holtvoeth and Professor Richard Pancost. The lab-based project was titled ‘Geochemical fingerprinting of modern organic matter sources in the Ohrid Basin’; while the literature review focused on biomarker applications for the conservation and monitoring of lake ecosystem services.

In November 2017, I returned to Bristol – and the OGU – for a MSc by Research degree in Chemistry, supervised by Professor Richard Evershed. My current project is looking towards the development of a new 15N2-stable isotope probing method for the quantification of biological nitrogen fixation in soils.

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Nitrogen (N) is one of the key nutrients vital for the survival of all living organisms. However, despite its high abundance in the atmosphere, N is frequently a limiting factor for crop productivity. For N to be available to primary producers, it must undergo transformations such as nitrogen fixation – which converts atmospheric N2 into biologically available N. This process is carried out by diazotrophs that may be found free-living in soils, or forming symbiotic associations with various plants, fungi, and roots.

As a part of SPECTRA (Soil Processes and Ecological Services in the Karst Critical Zone of Southwest China), my research aims to develop a new 15N2-stable isotope probing method for determining nitrogen fixation in soils. It will be adapted as a novel method to assay nitrogen fixation and used to provide previously unobtainable quantitative information on N2 capture and flow in agricultural and semi-natural soils.

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