My role in MedSeA Villefranche:
I have been doing 3 mesocosms experiments since 2007 and together with Frederic Gazeau, Amélie Sallon and all the engineers involved in MedSea, we have been adapting the mesocosms developed for the DUNE project to the specific objectives of MedSea. These are great and powerful tools. As during the Stareso experiment, I will be co-chief scientist. Together with Frederic we will make sure that everything goes smoothly as this kind of work is hard for the whole team. This is exactly like a cruise… without a ship! Beside this role, I will be involved in several activities: with Justine Louis, I will do ‘clean sampling’, filtration and sample treatment (UV irradiation) to get physical and organic/inorganic speciation of several nutrients; I will help Alina Ebling to ‘clean’ sample the surface microlayer and try to collect enough material to measure nutrients and do also some biological characterizations of this very specific environment. In addition, I will participate to the acquisition of core parameters such as Chla etc.
More about my research:
I am interested in biogeochemical cycles of nutrients (iron, phosphorus, nitrogen) and how different forcing (such as atmospheric inputs) do impact them. I am particularly interested to study oligotrophic environments and I have been conducting several researchs in the Mediterranean Sea. Knowledge of the effect of environmental parameters such as pH and temperature on those cycles are still fragmented, and the MedSea mesocosms experiment should help us to better understand how decreasing pH will affect N, P and Fe cycles. In particular, we will measure these elements in 2 size fraction (0.2 and 0.015 µm) and we will measure organic and inorganic species. Considering the very oligotrophic condition at the site, we expect trace levels concentrations for the 3 elements and great care should be taken while sampling and processing the samples: we intend to work in ‘trace element clean conditions’ as we did for the previous mesocosms experiments during the DUNE project. Indeed, the mesocosms have been designed to conduct such delicate (but challenging) work.