Universitetsparken 15, 2100 København Ø., 1, Bygning: 1-1-216
I am a microbial ecologist using state-of-the-art molecular tools to study the diversity and activity of microorganisms in their environment. Most of my research is focused on soil bacteria. A single gram of soil may contain tens of thousands of different bacterial species, which compete and cooperate with each other in ways that we are just beginning to understand. By combining measurements of bacterial activities with the genetic make-up of the bacterial communities, I hope to gain insight into the hidden daily life of soil bacteria.
Soil bacteria and fungi are essential for organic matter degradation and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems and have profound effects on our climate through the production and consumption of the greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. A better understanding of these processes is needed e.g. to elucidate possible feedbacks on the microbial production of greenhouse gases from a changing climate.
In addition, bacteria in soil and other environments may produce unknown enzymes, antibiotics and other bioactive compounds with a large potential for the biotech industry. I am investigating new ways of mining this biological treasure using second generation DNA sequencing and bioinformatic tools.
I am currently involved in Center for Permafrost, CENPERM (www.cenperm.ku.dk), financed by the Danish National Research Foundation. Among other interesting stuff, we will investigate the short and long-term effects and climatic feedbacks of permafrost thawing on greenhouse gas emissions and integrate the processes at landscape/ecosystem scales in Greenland. I will focus on the responses of microorganisms to permafrost thawing including their production and consumption of greenhouse gases.