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Environmental Biogeochemistry

Environmental Biogeochemistry is an exciting field of research that studies how biotic (organisms) and abiotic parts (soil, minerals, natural organic material) of the environment chemically interact. These interactions control key processes in the environment such as the mobilization, transformation or stabilization of pollutant, mineral weathering and solute acquisition of natural waters and global element cycling. Organisms interact chemically with their surroundings for multiple reasons including the acquisition of nutrients, the generation of energy for metabolic processes and the protection against toxins. The nature of the chemistry involved is often complex and divers, and includes redox processes, acid base chemistry, dissolution and precipitation processes, and complexation reactions.The research of our group focuses on clearing up the chemical mechanisms employed by biota on the molecular scale and on quantitatively understanding them.

We do this in field studies and in controlled laboratory experiments, employing various analytical techniques as well as non-traditional isotope geochemistry. We investigate the reactivity of biogenic chemical compounds in model systems but we also involve microbial cultures and plants as well as complex soil systems and sediments. The results of these studies are used to construct quantitative thermodynamic and kinetic models that may serve to predict the effect of biogeochemical processes in complex environments.


Department of Environmental Geosciences
University of Vienna

Althanstraße 14 UZAII
1090 Vienna
T: +43-1-4277-533 01
F: +43-1-4277-9 533
University of Vienna | Universitätsring 1 | 1010 Vienna | T +43-1-4277-0