News from the Department

  • Michael Kühl wins Moore Investigator award in aquatic symbiosis


    After a tough international competition, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has selected 15 innovative researchers, who will receive large, flexible investigator awards for the next 5 years. The Danish professor in aquatic microbiology Michael Kühl, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen is among this group of researchers. »

  • Professor and tightrope walker: Riikka Rinnan finding balance amidst global climate chaos


    Climate scientist, tightrope walker and prize winner. Last week, 44-year-old professor and biologist Riikka Rinnan reached the top of the Danish researcher universe when she was awarded the EliteForsk Prize 2020 (Elite Research Prize) and DKK 1.2 million for her outstanding work in Arctic climate research. While she does not have climate anxiety, she thinks that we ought to do more for the climate than we are now. »

  • Many species in mountains have to choose between higher temperatures or decreased oxygen levels


    As a result of global warming many species are currently shifting altitudinal distribution in mountain areas. Even though most move to higher altitudes, there are large differences among species, and some even shift downward to lower altitudes. A recently published paper in the acclaimed journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment from the Ecological Society of America presents a theory that might contribute to our understanding of these differences among species. »

  • Photosynthesis in the “dark”: Near-infrared light drives substantial oxygen production in natural biofilms


    New findings challenge the commonly accepted notion that chlorophyll a is the major photopigment in oxygenic photosynthesis driven by visible light and demonstate the importance of cyanobacteria with chlorophyll d and f for primary production in shaded habitats, where near infrared light prevails. »

  • Tracking the scent of warming tundra


    Climate change is causing the subarctic tundra to warm twice as fast as the global average, and this warming is speeding up the activity of the plant life. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and the Helmholtz Zentrum München, Germany, have now elucidated how this warming affects the tundra ecosystem and the origin of an increased amount of volatile compounds released from the tundra. The results are published in the renowned scientific journal Global Change Biology. »

  • Mosses are the gatekeepers of nitrogen input to ecosystems


    New research showsthat mosses are crucial in regulating the nitrogen flow between atmosphere and ecosystem, but the results suggest a strong dependency on climatic factors such as temperature and precipitation, which climate change are likely to alter. »

  • High temperatures due to global warming will be dramatic even for the super-resistant tardigrades


    Global warming, a major aspect of climate change, is already causing a wide range of negative impacts on many habitats of our planet. It is thus of the utmost importance to understand how rising temperatures may affect animal health and welfare. A research group from Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen has just shown that tardigrades are very vulnerable to long-term high temperature exposures. Animals, which in their desiccated state are best known for their extraordinary tolerance to extreme environments. »

  • The global distribution of freshwater plants is controlled by catchment characteristics


    Unlike land plants, photosynthesis in many aquatic plants relies on bicarbonate in addition to CO2 to compensate for the low availability of CO2 in water. A study in the scientific journal SCIENCE by Iversen and co-authors shows that the abundance of plant species with the ability to use bicarbonate increases in hard water lakes with greater bicarbonate concentrations. In streams, where the CO2 concentration is higher than in air, bicarbonate users are few.  »

  • Kim F. Rewitz receives 5 mDKK from the Lundbeck Foundation


    The Lundbeck Foundation has decided to support 20 research projects - each receiving 5 million DKK from the Ascending Investigators support program. The program aims to support established, experienced and talented health science researchers and potentially make a significant contribution to the health sciences. Associate Professor Kim F. Rewitz from Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen is one of them. »

  • Friendly bacteria collaborate to survive


    New microbial research at the University of Copenhagen suggests that 'survival of the friendliest' outweighs 'survival of the fittest’ for groups of bacteria. Bacteria make space for one another and sacrifice properties if it benefits the bacterial community as a whole. The discovery is a major step towards understanding complex bacteria interactions and the development of new treatment models for a wide range of human diseases and new green technologies. »