Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


Danish expert at UC for two years to study climate change

Danish expert at UC for two years to study climate change impact on NZ ecosystems

In recent years, it has become increasingly clear that human activities are driving global environmental changes, including increasing temperatures.

The changes have had a dramatic influence worldwide on how different organisms interact with each other and with the environment where they live, a University of Canterbury (UC) researcher says.

Dr Stinus Lindgreen, Danish post-doctoral researcher who is currently working on biological sciences at the University of Canterbury, is studying climate change’s impact on ecosystems. Dr Lindgreen was recently awarded a prestigious Marie Curie Fellowship from the European Union as part of his New Zealand study.

``It is extremely important we get a better understanding of what mechanisms are at work and how climate change is influencing the biosphere,’’ he says.

``One of the most serious concerns about climate change is the possibility of so-called positive feedback between rising temperatures and increasing emission of carbon from the soil which then leads to an even greater increase in the greenhouse effect.

``This increasing emission is partly caused by micro-organisms living in the soil. It is also important to remember that micro-organisms are involved in some of the most crucial environmental processes such as nitrogen metabolism, respiration and decomposition.

``We need to investigate how microbes respond to climate change. To date, research in climate change and ecosystems has focused mostly on plants and animals, ignoring the important role of micro-organisms. So my research at UC is important at scientific, political and socio-economic levels.’’

Dr Lindgreen will use a field study where UC researchers have established a number of plots to investigate how the ecosystems respond to different drivers of climate change. Some plots have been heated by cables to have a temperature 3Cdegrees above the daily temperature. Other plots have been treated with nitrogen to simulate the use of fertilisers. The role of invasive species is also studied. All of these factors will also be combined during the study.

Dr Lindgreen will investigate how factors affect the microbial community in the soil by looking at which micro-organisms are there and what they do. This can be done using the latest technology to directly find out which genes are actively being used and from this he can find out not only which micro-organisms are present but also what they are doing.

``In our research we’ll be asking `does increasing temperatures change the composition of micro-organisms in the soil? If so, how does that affect the ability to fix nitrogen in the soil? Do other micro-organisms take over a specific function when an organism disappears or does the ecosystem as a whole change behaviour?’

``The answers to those questions can be used to guide decisions about how to respond to changes in the climate and it will help us get a much better understanding of an important part of the ecosystems on which we all depend.’’

Dr Lindgreen will return to the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, in early 2015. He will be researching on the project in collaboration with Professor Jason Tylianakis, Dr Anthony Poole and Dr Paul Gardner.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Review: “Salute” By Royal New Zealand Ballet In Wellington

The Royal New Zealand Ballet performed “Salute” for a final time in Wellington on Sunday night, and it was nothing short of spectacular. More>>

ALSO:

NZ on Air: More Funding For TV Captions To Increase Access

More funding for TV captions to increase access NZ On Air has increased funding to provide more captions and audio description on television programmes for the hearing and sight impaired. More>>

Music: So Laid Back Country China Album Release

On Friday night, So Laid Back Country China held a gig at Meow for the release of their new album With Knees of Honey in Goodbye Canyon. I briefly spoke with Harriet lead vocals, keyboard) and Michael (lead vocals, guitar) before the gig More>>

Art: Wellington Region Celebrates Matariki

Eight Wellington museums and galleries have joined forces to present a major programme of exhibitions and events to celebrate Matariki 2015, the Māori New Year. The Wellington Matariki Festival will host more than 60 free events and activities between Saturday ... More>>

Wellington: TEDxWellingtonWomen Speakers Unveiled

The lineup is announced today for the highly anticipated upcoming event TEDxWellingtonWomen. Speakers include local women and men who have lived extraordinary lives and have ideas worth spreading. More>>


Books: Witi Ihimaera To Address ‘State Of NZ Literature’at Festival

6 May 2015 MEDIA RELEASE Witi Ihimaera to Address ‘State of NZ Literature’ at Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival The New Zealand Book Council has chosen the 2015 Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival as the stage for its annual address, which ... More>>

Culture: Historic Māori Portraits Travel To The Czech Republic

Image credit: Gottfried Lindauer, Wahanui Reihana Te Huatare, oil on canvas, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Mr H E Partridge, 1915 More>>

Art: Something Felt, Something Shared - Enjoy

Gabrielle Amodeo, Ruby Joy Eade, Clare McLean, Kalya Ward Curated by Emma Ng May 7 – 30, 2015 Opening: Wednesday May 6, 5.30pm Strange frequencies are channelled through personal narratives and poetic placeholders in Something felt, something ... More>>

Culture: Pukeahu Park ANZAC Day Commemoration 2015

Pukeahu Park ANZAC Day Commemoration 2015 Images from New Zealand Defence Force Click for big version A bugler plays The Last Post Click for big version A View from the top of the Carillion Click for big version Faces old and young Click for big ... More>>

Television: MediaWorks Announces Dancing With The Stars Hosts

MediaWorks and BBC Worldwide ANZ are delighted to announce host Dominic Bowden alongside co-host Sharyn Casey for the hit series Dancing with the Stars. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news