Ana María Yáñez Serrano
Funded by Severo Ochoa project
Research group: Environmental Geochemistry and Atmospheric Research (EGAR)
My research is focused on the study of atmospheric processes at the biological boundary, having an interdisciplinary approach to understand the interaction between forest ecosystems and atmospheric chemistry. I use the study of volatile organic compounds (VOC) to understand the role of biology in atmospheric chemistry and biosphere-atmosphere interactions, and how this role changes due to land use and climate change. For this, I use observations at multiple spatial and temporal scales, performed with multiple analytical techniques to have a holistic and mechanistic understanding of the system functioning. I mainly use the Proton Transfer Reaction mass Spectrometry (PTR-MS) which I complement with other techniques. During my Ph.D. and 1st post doctorate, where I developed a strong expertise on tropical ecosystems, I discovered marked seasonality in Biogenic VOC (BVOC) abundance due to seasonal changes in BVOC sources, drivers and sinks, including radiation, temperature and phenology in the Amazonian rainforest. I also expanded my research on BVOC dynamics in further ecosystems in order to gain a holistic understanding of forest BVOC interactions worldwide. During my second post-doctoral fellowship, I investigated the linkage between the carbon fluxes from the primary and secondary metabolism in plants, gaining further knowledge on plant physiology, as well as expertise in different analytical techniques such as PTR-TOF-MS and isotopic analysis. The generated results demonstrated the biosynthesis of several aromatic compounds, as well as revealed the emission of diterpenes by plants, compounds thought not to be emitted due to their low volatility. This finding has led to new projects elucidating the atmospheric implications of diterpene emissions. During my time in CREAF, as a Juan de la Cierva Incorporacion grantee I have been exploring is atmospheric composition of VOC in background rural Mediterranean sites where strong interaction between polluted and clean air masses take place as well as continued working on tropical ecosystems. Now I have selected as a talent attraction under the Severo Ochoa Programme by IDAEA where I will further explore the interaction between biogenic and anthropogenic VOCs, as to study the interaction of VOCs with rainwater.