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Institute for Life SciencesOur research

Biogeochemistry

All living organisms interact with their physical and chemical environments for food, resources and shelters, and modify environmental conditions while doing so. Research in Biogeochemistry studies how these interactions are brought about and controlled by biotic/ abiotic factors; and how future global changes may alter material cycling on our planet.

Image credits: National Aeronautics and Space Administration and European Space Agency
Study of interactions among the biosphere, geosphere and chemosphere

Human activities have been imposing unprecedented pressures on and changes to our Earth system. In order to decipher how resilient the Earth system is and whether we can continue to get the ecosystem services we need upon further changes, we first need to understand the mechanistic links among the biosphere, geosphere and chemosphere of our planet – hence Biogeochemistry.

The Biogeochemistry research theme brings together IfLS members from across disciplines and academic units within the university, with affiliation ranging from Biological Sciences, Ocean and Earth Science, Geography, Engineering, Archaeology to Medicine, as well as the closely associated National Oceanography Centre at our waterfront campus. To tackle our research questions, diverse techniques are employed, such as state-of-the-art techniques in biochemistry, molecular biology, stable isotopes, optical measurements and remote sensing, imaging, sensor development, mineral magnetic measurements and modelling.

Specific Biogeochemistry research areas include:

  • Past and present changes in CO2, global carbon cycle and climate
  • Global nutrient cycling
  • Biodiversity and ecosystem changes in marine and terrestrial systems due to past and present environmental changes
  • Redox signalling and ecophysiological responses
  • Marine phytoplankton and microbial ecology
  • Bioenergy
  • Evolution and socio-ecological system dynamics

For more information about the Biogeochemistry theme please contact the theme lead below:

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