Electric fields may cause errors in ecosystem measurements
Congratulations to Assistant Professor Ugo Marzocchi who received a grant of DKK 2 Mio. to investigate the influence of electric fields on the movement of ions in aquatic sediments.
Assistant professor Ugo Marzocchi has received a Villum Experiment grant of DKK 2 Mio.
In his project he will investigate how electrical fields might influence the transport of ions. The availability of nutrients in aquatic systems controls biological processes that in turn regulate climate and environmental quality. Electric fields naturally develop in soils and sediments, however to date, their influence on the transport of dissolved ions has been neglected. It can be calculated that disregarding this phenomena may lead to systematic errors in the way nutrients fluxes have been estimated in sediments for more than half a century. The goal is to experimentally demonstrate that electric forces common in aquatic ecosystems accelerate the movement of nutrients that regulate biological activity (NO3-, SO42-, NH4+, PO43-, and HCO3-). If successful, this project will revolutionize our understanding on the interconnections between biology and physics and our ability to quantitatively describe important ecosystem functions such as nutrients and carbon cycling in aquatic systems.
The Villum Experiment grants are designed to support untested potential breakthrough ideas by providing grants suitable for an explorative phase. The project is funded by the Villum Foundation and will be conducted within the Centre for Water Technology (WATEC) and the Center for Electromicrobiology (CEM).