Research projects

Scroll down to read more about the research projects that I am currently involved in

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Methane in warming Arctic lakes

Arctic landmasses and lakes release significant amounts of methane (CH4), a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global climate change. Yet, the effect of rapid warming in the Arctic and the fate of CH4 emissions is poorly understood, particularly over decadal to millennial timescales.

This project will foster a new platform for interdisciplinary climate research in Norway by bringing together a team of Quaternary scientists with world leading ancient DNA facilities and expertise. We seek to bring new insights to the contribution of Arctic ecosystems to the global carbon cycle and their sensitivity to climate change. By strengthening our understanding of long-term ecosystem processes that influence the release and degradation of CH4 in the Arctic, we will help constrain models of global climate change.

The recent advance of high-throughput sequencing to analyze ancient environmental DNA (eDNA), or paleogenomics, from Arctic lake sediment has increased analytical sensitivity and thus unlocked a wealth of new information on past ecosystems. We will combine paleogenomics with a robust paleoecological framework to determine the impact of climate change on microbial CH4 dynamics in high latitude lakes since the onset of the present interglacial, the Holocene, ~11,700 years ago. We will control for catchment processes underpinning microbial CH4 exchange, and isolate the influence of climate on their dynamics.

This interdisciplinary research relies on a unique collection of Arctic lake sediment cores from Greenland, mainland Norway and Svalbard.

 

This project is funded through KLIMAFORSK, the Research Council of Norway and is a collaboration with Alexandra Roulliard and Anders Schomacker, department of geosciences, University of Tromsø, Inger Greve Alsos, Tromsø Museum and Kurt Kjær, Natural History Museum of Denmark

Methane cycling archives from warming Arctic lakes: retrieving the genomic blueprints of Holocene microbes (PolarCH4ives)

Past glacier change on Svalbard

The aim of this project is to study Holocene glacier variations in Svalbard by investigating glacial geomorphology and sediment cores from proglacial lakes. The glacial history can be deciphered from the on/off signal of glacial sediments that we find in so called proglacial threshold lakes; when the ice margin advances into the catchment of a lake, rock flour from glacial erosion is washed into the lake and results in deposition of minerogenic sediment. Once the ice margin retreats out of the catchment, deposition in the lake will change from minerogenic to organic rich. In the sediment cores it is possible to date this transition and constrain the timing of the ice advance.

We are interested in investigating 1) whether glacial advances were due to mass balance changes forced by climate change or triggered by changes in ice dynamics and 2) if we can find a circum-Svalbard spatial pattern in Holocene glacier expansion

 

This project has been running since 2015 and is funded by the Carlsberg Foundation, The Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund and The University Centre in Svalbard. The project is run in collaboration with Anders Schomacher, Tromsø University (UiT), Ólafur Ingolfsson, University of Iceland, Skafti Brynjólfsson, Icelandic Institute of Natural History, Wesley Farnsworth, University of Iceland, Lis Allaart, UiT, Sofia Kjellman, UiT, Erik Holmlund, UNIS

Holocene History of Svalbard Ice Caps and Glaciers (SVALICE)