Aarhus Universitets segl

Eva Lisa Doting

Ph.d.-studerende, Videnskabelig assistent

Eva Lisa Doting


PhD project: The ice biome through time – unravelling the potential of glacial algal biomarkers as tracers of change

University: Aarhus University

Department: Department of Environmental Science

Supervisor: Alexandre Anesio

Project term: 1/5/2019 – 30/4/2022

Master degree: MSc Environmental Science - Chemistry, Toxicology and Health, University of Copenhagen. Thesis: "The Mechanism of Isoprene Ozonolysis", conducted in the group for Atmospheric Chemistry.



Glaciers and ice sheets have only recently been recognised as one of the biomes of Earth. The ice algal communities on the Greenland Ice Sheet form larges blooms on the ice surface. For instance, there is a dark zone on the south west region of Greenland, which is largely attributed to the presence of ice algae, extending over an area of the order 100,000 km2. The presence of algae has a significant impact on the reduction of ice albedo, substantially increasing ice melting during the summer, increasing the availability or water and hence establishing a positive feedback. The extent of the darkening of the ice is undergoing long-term expansion, but we have no temporal perspective of whether the ice algal distribution in the past was equally extensive as it is today.



We hypothesize that the darkening experienced by the Greenland Ice Sheet and glaciers in other northern locations is in part a problem that started in the last 150 years. Hence, we aim to trace specific glacial ice algae biomarkers in sediment cores from coastal areas, such as the Godthåbsfjord system and around Villum Research Station, to advance our understanding of changes in the ice biome during the past millennium. 



  • Martin Hansen, Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University
  • Sofia Ribeiro, Department of Glaciology and Climate, GEUS
  • Marit-Solveig Seidenkrantz, Department of Geoscience, Aarhus University 

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