Biogeochemistry / Limnology
Dr. Benjamin Gilfedder
Water is the medium of life while certain vital elements such as C, N, S, and P are intimately and ultimately linked to the water cycle. But where is the water in our streams, rivers and lakes coming from, and what is controlling the availability and distribution of biogeochemically important elements? How are these elements cycled through ecosystems? Such questions are the foundation of what we do in investigating relationships between the water cycle and biogeochemical processes.
Of particular interest is coupling between groundwater and surface water systems and the dynamic hydrological and biogeochemical processes at the interface between these reservoirs (e.g. hyporheic zone). This includes water fluxes and residence times, carbon cycling which is dependent on the structure of organic molecules, and redox reactions involving N, S and Fe. We are interesting in long term processes (effects of climate change) and transient events in space and time, e.g. ‘hot moments’ and ‘hot spots’.