The group on “Global Change and Genomic Biogeochemistry” focuses its research on the anthropogenic organic component of the carbon an nutrient cycles at regional and global scale. Our approach combines the use of field work on atmospheric, seawater, and soil studies, the biogeochemistry of anthropogenic organic compounds, and the microbial-pollutant mutual interactions addressed through genomic and molecular approaches. There are currently many research groups working on organic pollutants, but very few explore the implications of the anthropogenic perturbation of the composition of the biosphere by organic pollutants as a vector of global change during the Anthropocene. Previous work by this research group has shown that organic pollutants with diverse sources are found ubiquitously in the oceanic atmosphere, seawater and biota (for all oceans). The research group has also done important contributions on the atmospheric deposition of organic compounds in the oceans and the polar regions (both Arctic and Antarctica). The research group combines scientists with expertise on environmental organic chemistry and on microbial biogeochemistry, and the evolution in recent years has been the merging of chemical and genomic approaches to study the biogeochemistry of anthropogenic organic chemicals, and their effects on the major anthropogenic cycles of carbon and phosphorus. Examples of such recent contributions was the elucidation of the atmospheric inputs of aromatic hydrocarbons in the ocean and their biogdegradation in the water column (resulting in two papers in Nature Geoscience), the microbial consumption of anthropogenic organophosphate esters, and the elucidation of the bacteria-pollutant interactions in oceanic and polar waters.
- The general scientific objective of the “Global Change and Genomic Biogeochemistry” group is to characterize the anthropogenic component of the carbon and nutrient cycles and its biogeochemical relevance at regional and global scale, with especial emphasis in the marine and polar regions.
- Characterization and relevance of atmosphere-ocean exchange of organic matter and nutrients.
- Long-range transport of organic matter from land (urban, rural) to the oceans and Antarctica.
- Influence of atmospheric inputs of anthropogenic organic compounds on microbial communities as bases of marine food-webs and engineers of the biogeochemistry of the oceans
- Microbial biodegradation of anthropogenic organic compounds.
- Sources, transport and biogeochemistry of organic pollutants in Antarctica.
- Plastics and plasticizers in the ocean. Comparative biogeochemistry and role of microbial degradation.