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Tiny, pigmented algae accelerate the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet – New insights into their growth and darkening potential

PhD defence, Friday 4 November 2022, Laura Halbach

Laura Halbach

During her PhD studies, Laura Halbach studied the biological processes that darken the Greenland Ice Sheet. The growth of pigmented microalgae significantly amplifies snow and ice melting by darkening the ice surface. By combining single-cell and community-based techniques, Laura Halbach provides new insights into the nutrient and carbon cycling and the influence of the algae’s pigment composition on ice surface darkening.

The new research contributes towards understanding the steering principles behind the algal-driven darkening of the Greenland Ice Sheet by deciphering the mechanisms of glacial algae growth, pigmentation and biogeochemical cycling on the ice.

The PhD study was completed at the Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Technical Sciences, Aarhus University.

This summary was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Friday, 4 November 2022 at 10:00
Place: Building D, room D170, Lokale 7220-D170, Arts, Aarhus University, Tuborgvej 164, 2400 Kopenhagen
Title of PhD thesis: Nutrient requirements and pigment signatures of glacial algae on the Greenland Ice Sheet

Contact information: Laura Halbach, e-mail: lh@envs.au.dk, tel.: +45 42929488

Members of the assessment committee:

Professor Tom Ian Battin, River Ecosystems Laboratory, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland

Professor Birgit Sattler, Institute of Ecology, University Innsbruck, Austria

Senior Researcher Niels Bohse (chair), Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, Denmark

Main supervisor:
Professor Alexandre M. Anesio, Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, Denmark

Martin Hansen, Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, Denmark

Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English

The defence is public.
The PhD thesis is available for reading at the Graduate School of Technical Sciences/GSTS,

Jens Baggesens Vej 53, building 5221, 8200 Aarhus N.



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