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Vibrational spectroscopy hub for an in-depth analysis of biogeochemical processes in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems (ECOSPEC)

START: 2020

It is now becoming evident that climate change disturbs biogeochemical processes and affects both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. In order to better understand whether these disturbances will further accelerate or mitigate climate change we need to know key influencing factors and integrate them over different scales (time and space) and environments (terrestrial and aquatic) 1. Vibrational (micro)spectroscopy techniques provide possibility to address this need by studying structural properties and responses of sample systems 2. 
The existing Vibrational (micro)spectroscopy labs within Mbio Microscopy Facility, Lund University have been 
equipped through funds granted to Centre of Environmental and Climate Science (CEC) and have recently been complemented with several new instruments, including a super-resolution infrared imaging microscope. It is important that researchers within BECC know and take advantage of the potential provided by the (micro)spectroscopy techniques and that the obtained results are integrated to constitute a bigger picture of the importance and relationship between various biogeochemical processes within terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

Therefore, the aim of the AG is (1) to identify common knowledge-gaps within microscale biogeochemistry, and the best approaches to tackle them by bringing together a network of researchers of different expertise. The AG will further (2) provide introduction and training on the use of the novel vibrational (micro)spectroscopy techniques and related data analysis approaches. This, added to the toolbox of other analytical methods conventionally used within the fields, will ensure that more comprehensive results are obtained. The routines and protocols created in the course of AG activities will also create a base and serve a broad user community within and outside BECC. Ultimately, the AG will initiate a vibrational spectroscopy hub with research focused on (but not limited to) biogeochemistry and carbon cycle. Its aim is to connect people with common methodological and research interests. We expect that the knowledge generated during continuous communication between AG researchers, on common research questions and using similar methods, in the long term, will provide insight on the importance of various biogeochemical processes and point to the need for them to be implemented in ecosystem models.

ECOSPEC - portal.research.lu.se