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Biogeochemical cycles

Water sampling at Taj Mahal. Photo: Wim Clymans
Water sampling at Taj Mahal. Photo: Wim Clymans

Biogeochemistry is the scientific discipline that involves the study of the chemical, physical, geological, and biological processes and the reactions that govern the composition and functioning of the Earth system. We are developing a predictive understanding of human-environment interactions for the future. Part of our research is focused on the human impact of inorganic and organic nutrient inputs to aquatic environments, especially the Baltic Sea. Particular emphasis is placed on the scientific basis of how we should understand the causes of the lack of oxygen in the bottom of the Baltic Sea and how we can best tackle this big problem and solve it as quickly as possible. We use paleoecological techniques and analysis of monitoring data to help understand long-term trends in aquatic ecosystems. In addition, we are making novel connections between the carbon and silicon cycles over the Phanerozoic to join two of Earth’s main biogeochemical cycles through Earth’s history. Within this research theme we are particularly interested in weathering and the linkages between the silica cycle and CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere and the ocean. We are making significant advances in our understanding of the controls of long-term climate variations through the study of interactions between the globally important biogeochemical nutrient (N, P and Si) cycles and the carbon biogeochemical cycle.

Visiting Scientists

Jane Caffrey (2016)

Christina De La Rocha (2016)

Jeroen Groeneveld (2015)

Helen McGregor (2014)


Dr. Hanna Alfredsson

Dr. Belinda Alvarez

Dr. Stefano Bonaglia

Dr. Wim Clymans

Dr. Patrick Frings

Dr. Claire McKay

Dr. Wenxin Ning

Dr. Petra Schoon

Latest Articles

Redox effects on organic matter storage in coastal sediments during the Holocene: A biomarker/proxy perspective. Bianchi et al., 2016. Reviews in advance

Evolving coastal character of a Baltic Sea inlet during the Holocene shoreline regression: impact on coastal zone hypoxia. Ning et al., 2016. Journal of Paleolimnology

Fire enhances solubility of biogenic silica. Unzué-Belmonte et al., 2016. Science of Total Environment.

Estimated storage of amorphous silica in soils of the circum-Arctic tundra region. Alfredsson et al., 2016. Global Biogeochemical Cycles

The continental Si cycle and its impact on the ocean Si isotope budget. Frings et al., 2016. Chemical Geology

The interplay between the surface and bottom water environment within the Benguela Upwelling System over the last 70 ka. McKay et al., 2016. Paleoceanography

Bacterial and fungal colonization and decomposition of submerged plant litter: consequences for biogenic silica dissolution. Alfredsson et al., 2016. FEMS Microbiology Ecology

Quantitative salinity reconstructions of the Baltic Sea during the mid-Holocene. Ning et al., 2016. Boreas

Mg/Ca, Sr/Ca and Ca isotope ratios in benthonic foraminifers related to test structure, mineralogy and environmental controls. Gussone et al., 2016. GCA