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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

University of Southampton ecologist will use journal blog to inspire early career scientists

Published: 27 June 2017
Dr Bjorn Robroek

Dr Bjorn Robroek, Lecturer in Ecology and Evolution, has been appointed the blog editor of Functional Ecology, one of the flagship journals of the British Ecological Society.

He intends to develop the blog of this fortnightly journal to probe in greater depth into some of the key research papers featured in the journal to examine how and why they were written. He also plans to look back at ground-breaking papers from past decades. A further idea is to follow researchers to find out more about their field work and laboratory work and use their example to inspire early career scientists.

Bjorn joined Southampton from the École Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland in spring 2017. “I was impressed by the quality of academic staff working in ecology at Southampton and the opportunities for collaboration,” he says.

His research focuses on connections between plants and microbial communities, especially Sphagnum moss in the peatland and examines at a multiple levels how they may alter in future because of the effects of climate change.

“Of course plants take in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and produce oxygen but they also transfer some of the carbon through their roots as sugars which are taken in by microbes who then get catalysed to decompose more complex organic matter making available nutrients for plants. Research on plant-microbe links could turn out to reveal mechanisms in how carbon is locked away in ecosystems.”


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