- Transformation of micropollutants at the water-sediment interface, in agricultural soils, in urban setting and on the catchment scale with stable isotope fractionation (compound-specific isotope analysis)
Understanding the transport and transformation of pollutants from toxic and diffuse sources represents a major challenge in the 21st century, and have become of utmost importance for the preservation of soil and water resources. Surface and sub-surface pollutant fluxes may be intercepted and transformed in transitional reactive zones of the landscape, such as wetlands or ground-surface water interfaces, before they reach other ecosystems. Reactive zones are ‘biogeochemical hotspots’, bearing dynamic interfaces between water, soil/sediment and microorganisms, and develop dynamic combinations of electron acceptors and donors reflecting microbial diversity and biogeochemical activity.
In this context, the fundamental questions that bother me are : what is the hydrological and biogeochemical functioning of these ‘hotspots’ with respects to pollutant transport and microbial transformation ? What are the taxonomic and functional diversity, physiology, and metabolism of microorganisms involved in pollutant transformation ? How do microorganisms respond to the pollution regime and hydro-biogeochemical fluctuations, and influence key ecosystem services (e.g. water quality improvement, flood abatement, biodiversity) ? My research principally revolves around the scientific underpinning of microbial processes in polluted agricultural systems, aquifers and wetland systems.