Continental shelves are mostly covered by sandy sediments (see map below) which are highly efficient bioreactors that remineralize organic carbon and reduce inorganic nitrogen to N2. Despite an improving knowledge on the transport mechanisms that drive pore water flow in sandy sediments, little is known on the factors that control the microbial activity on µm-scales.
My research focuses on unravelling the factors determining carbon turnover and nutrients loss in continental shelf sediments. Currently I am developing a new method using O2 sensitive sensor-particles to visualize oxygen concentrations and consumption on the surface of sand grains at µm scales. This method will be combined with autonomous monitoring of the sea floor (using LanceALot) and numerical models to better understand and predict in situ benthic oxygen dynamics and nitrogen loss.
- Biogeochemical processes in sandy sediments
- Nitrogen cycling and oxygen dynamics in sandy sediments
- Role of primary producers
World map illustrating sandy sediments and chlorophyll concentrations in orange and green, respectively.