I am a microbial ecologist using DNA- and RNA-based techniques to study the diversity and activity of microorganisms in their environment, mainly soils. A single gram of soil may contain tens of thousands of different bacterial species, which compete and cooperate with each other in ways that we are just beginning to understand.
Also, soil bacteria and fungi are essential for organic matter degradation and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems and have profound effects on our climate through the production and consumption of the greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide.
By combining measurements of bacterial and fungal activities with the genetic make-up of the microbial communities, I gain insight into the hidden daily life of soil microorganisms and how they are involved in the production and consumption of greenhouse gases.
I am part of Center for Permafrost, CENPERM (www.cenperm.ku.dk), financed by the Danish National Research Foundation. Among numerous interesting stuff, we investigate the short and long-term effects and climatic feedbacks of permafrost thawing on greenhouse gas emissions and upscale microbial processes at plot scale to landscape/ecosystem scales in Greenland.