I am working on benthic ecosystem functions in front of an Arctic glacier (79N Glacier, Northeast Greenland), and the effects of a changing environment on the macrofauna community composition in this region. My Master thesis is supervised by Dr. Ulrike Braeckman from Ghent University, Belgium, and Prof. Dr. Thomas Brey from AWI Bremerhaven, Germany.
Since recent years, Northeast Greenland is subject to sustained ice sheet loss due to recent regional warming. Except for the early 1990's, no studies have been carried out on benthic communities in this area. My research is focused on revealing the habitat characteristics that are driving the benthic ecosystem and its functions in this region, and inferring whether there is a glacier disturbance effect on the macrofauna communities. I want to compare these results to publications from the 1990's to see if changes in the communities have occurred since then. My work includes macrofauna species identification, biomass estimation, and traits analysis, the quantification of total cell numbers, and linking these to the biogeochemistry and environmental parameters at different locations within the Northeast Greenland area.