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Nawa Raj Dhamala

Nawa Raj Dhamala
Postdoctoral researcher in cropping systems diversification - Cropping Systems Ecology (CSE) research group


I am an agroecologist with both Master and PhD degrees in Agroecology. My research experiences lie within the areas of plant growth and yield, crop and cropping system diversification including legumes, plant interaction in species mixture, legume biological N2 fixation and nitrogen cycling in plant and soil systems.  

I have passion to enhance agrobiodiversity and agroecological farming by promoting legumes in cropping systems and through co-innovation with concerned stakeholders. My particular interest is in investigating multiple ecosystem benefits of legume-based crop and cropping system diversification, with the emphasis on improved crop yield and yield stability, biological N2 fixation, soil fertility and nutrient use efficiency, crop and agro-environmental quality, and agricultural adaptation to climate change.


During my PhD, I gave lectures to Agroecology master students on crop diversification, biological N2 fixation, N dynamics in organic grassland-arable cropping systems and agricultural production systems in Nepal at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Alnarp. In addition, I have been involved in dissemination of my research works among scientific and non-scientific audiences through participation in various field demonstrations, national and international seminars and scientific publications.


I have been involved in cropping system researches including the aspects of crop diversification in time and space, soil fertility and plant productivity. During my PhD I investigated species diversity in temporary multi-species grasslands for the effect on legume biological N2 fixation, nitrogen transfer and residual N effect in the subsequent crop applying 15N isotopic methods.

Currently I am working as a postdoctoral researcher. I am involved in the two EU research projects, ReMIX and SolACE, on cropping system diversification. In ReMIX, we aim at exploiting the benefit of species mixtures to design and implement more diversified and resilient agro-ecological arable cropping system, which rely less on supply of external inputs and maximize productivity and ecosystem services of agricultural systems. Our focus is on how intercropping of grain legume and cereal improve resource use efficiency, yield and yield stability and balance field heterogeneity by involving both on farm and on station evaluation of species mixtures.

The aim of the project SolACE is to combat with future limitation of resources such as water and nutrient in European agriculture through the design of resource efficient crop genotype and agroecosystem management innovations focusing on three major European crops- potato, bread- and durum-wheat. We focus on pre-crop effect of legume or legume/cereal intercrop for improved performance of bread wheat, common in southern part of Sweden, grown in conventional systems by including on farm and pilot experiment at research station and developing collaboration and co-innovation with farmers.

I will be involved in field experiments and evaluate the impact of diversified arable crops and cropping systems under the given management and agro-climatic condition based on collection and analysis of data generated from on farm and on station experiments.


PhD in Agroecology, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University (AU), Denmark (2014-2017)

Dissertation: Nitrogen dynamics in temporary multi-species grasslands

MSc in Agroecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Sweden (2010-2012)

Dissertation: Effect of varietal and species diversity on nitrogen fixation and nitrogen cycling in an organic faba bean-spring wheat intercropping system

Selected publications

Journal articles

Dhamala, N. R., Rasmussen, J., Carlsson, G., Søegaard, K., Eriksen, J. (2017). N transfer in three species grass-clover mixtures with chicory, ribwort plantain or caraway. Plant and Soil, 413 (1): 217–230.

Dhamala, N. R., Eriksen, J., Carlsson, G., Søegaard, K., Rasmussen, J. (2017). Highly productive forage legume stands show no positive biodiversity effect on yield and N2-fixation. Plant and Soil, 417: 169- 182.

Dhamala, N. R., Rasmussen, J., Cong, W. F., Carlsson, G., Søegaard, K., Eriksen, J. (2017). Short‐term residual N unaffected by forbs in grass‐clover mixtures. Soil Use and Management, 33(3): 457-459. 

Dhamala, N. R., Rasmussen, J., Carlsson, G., Søegaard, K., Eriksen, J. (2017). Effects of including forbs on N2 fixation and N yield in red clover-ryegrass mixtures. Plant and Soil, 424: 525-537.

Rasmussen J., Gylfadottir, T., Dhamala, N. R., De Notaris, C., and Katterer T (2019). Temporal fate of 15N and 14C leaf-fed to red and white clover in pure stand or mixture with grass - implications for estimation of legume derived N in soil and companion species. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 133: 60-7.

Conference articles

Dhamala, N. R., Søegaard, K. and Eriksen, J (2015). Competitive forbs in high-producing grasslands with perennial ryegrass and red clover can increase plant diversity and herbage yield. European Grassland Federation. Proceedings of the General Meeting, Vol. 20, Pp. 209-211. 

Dhamala, N. R., Eriksen, J., Carlsson, G., Søegaard, K. and Rasmussen, J (2016). Nitrogen fixation in red clover grown in multi-species mixtures with ryegrass, chicory, plantain and caraway. The multiple roles of grassland in the European Bioeconomy. Grassland Science in Europe, Vol. 21, Pp. 576-578.

Dhamala, N. R., Eriksen, J., Carlsson, G., Søegaard, K. and Rasmussen, J (2016). Nitrogen transfer in three-species mixture of grass, clover and forbs. Abstract from 19th Nitrogen Workshop, Skara, Sweden.

Eriksen, J., Dhamala, N. R., Cong, W.F, Søegaard, K., and Rasmussen, J (2017). Clover-grass mixtures with herbs - carbon, nitrogen and biodiversity (in Danish). In: Appendix to Plant Congress, pp. 230-231.

News article

Dhamala, N. R., Eriksen, J. (2016). Non-leguminous forbs in productive temporary grasslands. ICROFS news. 6 October. International Center for Research in Organic Food Systems




Postdoctor at the Institutionen för biosystem och teknologi
Telephone: 040-41 52 51
Postal address:
Biosystem och Teknologi, Box 103
230 53 ALNARP
Visiting address: Sundsvägen 16, Alnarp