Promise Mpamah, PhD, post doctoral researcher

Expertize: Internal carbon cycling in peat and sediment; PLFA and isotopes

E-mail: promise.mpamah (a)

Room number: Snellmania 4127


I am a PhD student working on the internal carbon cycling (especially via methanotrophs) in peatland and lake sediments. The role of peat and lake sediments as carbon stores in ecosystem carbon balance cannot be over emphasized and the physiochemical conditions for carbon storage are similar in both of them. In my PhD studies, we are using phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) biomarker approach to establish a link between the carbon flow in old carbon accumulations; showing  the activities of especially methanotrophic bacterial in old peats and sediments. Our main aim is to examine how internal carbon cycling in deep peat and sediments can lead to not only new microbial biomass formation, but also to carbon storage. This we are trying to achieve by qualifying and quantifying the products of different microbial groups in these two ecosystems. We are also using the PLFA profiles and isotopes, and to a lesser extent the DNA, to assesse the microbial groups responsible for possible carbon re-cycling in these two ecosystems. In addition, we are comparing our calculated microbial biomass equivalent (from PLFA) with the data on methane emission from the same site.

Previously, my BSc thesis focused on phytoremediation of crude oil polluted wetland while my MSc research dealt with movement of carbon in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. Both studies were connected to carbon cycling especially in peatlands and wetlands in general. For the master’s thesis research work, I used mainly carbon isotope technique (both 13C and 14C). I equally worked with both bioenergy crop and tree species.

My research interest

Generally, my research interests are in the area of general soil and microbial ecology, with particular interest in wetland (especially peatland) and sediment ecosystems.  I am also interested in specific environmental science areas such as climate change research, biogeochemistry and greenhouse gas dynamics.

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