Department of Biology

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Bo Barker Jørgensen

Professor

Bo Barker Jørgensen
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MY RESEARCH

I study the microorganisms and element cycles in the seabed, in particular sulfate reduction, methane cycling and the degradation of organic matter. The goal is to understand the pathways of these biogeochemical processes and how microbiology and geochemistry control their rates.

 

EXAMPLES OF RESEARCH PROJECTS

We recently discovered a cryptic methane cycle in the seabed, whereby a group of archaea are apparently able to both produce and oxidize methane in the same sediment at the same time. I now study how these concurrent processes are energetically controlled and whether extracellular electron exchange with conducting minerals enables a reversal of the metabolic pathway.

 

IMPORTANT METHODS AND RESULTS

We use experimental radiotracer techniques and stable isotope dilution methods to measure microbial metabolic rates. We compare these rates to the community size of the responsible microorganisms to understand how the metabolic activity per cell is regulated in the seabed.

 

COLLABORATION

In our current study of cryptic methane cycling, I am associated with the DNRF Center for Electromicrobiology and collaborate with the University of Southern Denmark and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research. I also collaborate with NASA-Ames Research Center, Harvard University and the University of Colorado to study how the global energy flux controls the carrying capacity of the biosphere on Earth.

 

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