Marine and lake biogeochemistry

professor Christel Hassler

Research in the group aims to improve the understanding of the functioning of aquatic systems (from the open ocean to large lakes) under present day climate scenarios and assess their sensitivity to further climate change - a prerequisite to predict their future and provide an appropriate management plan for their resources.

The research is centered on phytoplankton dynamics, and nutrient biogeochemistry, two key parameters that act together to affect the biogeochemistry of numerous elements including the global carbon cycle and thus the carbon footprint of aquatic systems. More specifically, our research objectives are:

  • Biogeochemistry of trace elements and nutrients, especially iron and nitrogen as they control the biological atmospheric CO2 fixation in up to 50 % of the ocean and several large lakes.
  • Understanding the complex interplay between aquatic chemistry and biology and its impact in controlling phytoplankton biomass, biodiversity and activity.
  • Impact of natural dissolved organic matter on the bioavailability and chemistry of trace elements.
  • Developing aquatic sensors to report nutrient limitation.

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