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Anibal Castillo

MSc Student

I am studying the relationship between above-ground and below-ground biodiversity, and if and how they influence soil health. Is biodiversity a key indicator of soil resilience and health? Does plant diversity increase microbial and invertebrate diversity? I will apply High Throughput Sequencing, qPCR and conventional taxonomy to answer these questions.

I am co-advised by Dr. Kari Dunfield at the School of Environmental Sciences, and Dr. Bob Hanner from Integrative Biology. I hold a B.Sc. in Biological Sciences from the Republic University in Uruguay, with emphasis on molecular phylogenetics. I completed my first M.Sc. in Zoology at Integrative Biology, studying whole genome duplications and phylogenetics in salmonid fish. I then worked for eight years at the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, where I initially produced, and then curated, DNA barcodes of all taxonomic groups. I also currently volunteer at the Guelph Resource Centre for Gender Equality and Development (GRCGED), assisting in setting up and taking down displays and tables for events, both on- and off-campus, and general maintenance of the centre. I also am in charge of the Office Compost Program at the School of Environmental Sciences, the Sustainability Ambassador at the University of Guelph, and an Owner Occupant on the Board of Directors at Inspirah Property Management LTD. In addition to my volunteer work roles, I am a regular blood donor at Guelph's Canadian Blood Services.

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