Research Topics (2. cohort, from 2019)


The research in Baltic TRANSCOAST is organized in 13 PhD topics in three research fields with hydro-dynamic (H), (bio)geochemical (G), and biological (B) focus.

B1: Composition and porductivit of macorphythes at the land-sea interface. Species composition, seasonality and productivity of fen vegetation exposed erratically to brackish water intrusion will be compared with neighbouring fens fed by freshwater only. The main focus is to unravel the impact of temporal salt water on vegetation communities and matter cycles...more

B2: Microphytobenthic primary production in biofilms along terrestrial-marine gradients. We will quantitively investigate the influence of peatland-derived organic compounds on Baltic Sea benthic diatoms, connecting to measurements of DOC exudation/mineralization along a coastal terrestrial-shallow water gradient to address the biogeochemical C cycle in the shallow water zone. This includes also...more.

B3: Microbial life and phosphorus cycling along salinity and redox gradients.

B4: Oxygen dynamics and material cycling at the sediment-water interface.We aim to better understand the roles of physical and biological transport of oxygen, particularly its temporal dynamics affecting bacterial respiration and biogeochemical zonation in coastal sediments. We will examine how diurnal change in oxygen produced by diatom-dominated microphytobenthos, coupled with advective pore water...more.

B5: Bioenergetics-mediated effects of multiple stressors on marine bioturbators in shallow coastal ecosystems.Our aim is to understand the interactive effects of multiple stressors on behavior, physiology and ecologically important of marine bioturbators (mollusks and polychaetes).  We will determine the effects of stress-induced physiological and behavioral changes on ecologically important functional traits...more

G1: Impact of water and element exchange on biogeochemical processes at the Sea-Land interface of the southern Baltic Sea. The influence of water (submarine groundwater discharge, SGD) and substances from the peatland to the Baltic Sea and vice versa, for element transformations in and fluxes from sediments and soils is in the target of this topic of Baltic TRANSCOAST. By means of multi-...more

G2: Trace gas liberation from coastal peatlands overlain by brackish waters. Central goal of this PhD project is the quantification of trace gas liberation (methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2)) from the shallow coastal-near seafloor. Special emphasis will be given to the controlling parameters, including hydrodynamic forcing, oxygen availability at the seafloor-water interface, and seawater biogeochemical...more

G3: Plants and microorganisms as drivers of CH4 production and exchange in coastal fens.Within this topic we want to assess the influence of variation in salinity and sulfate concentrations in space and time on the composition and activity of the micro-organismic community as well as on substrate supply, methane production and emission through the vegetation. We expect the microbial community comp...more

G5: Connecting the N-cycles of a coastal peatland and the Baltic Sea. The PhD work should entangle the processes converting nitrogen compounds in the water column, sediments, and peatland to gain a good understanding of the nitrogen cycling on both sides of the beachline. Likewise important is the study of transport processes across the land-sea interface in collaboration with other PhD projects to...more

H1: Water and nutrient fluxes between coastal peatlands and the Baltic Sea. Water and solutes are exchanged between coastal peatlands and the Baltic Sea by flooding of the peatlands and seawater intrusion on the one hand and submarine discharge of fresh groundwater on the other hand. These interactions are governed by hydraulic gradients and geological settings, and they influence the biogeo...more

H2: Flow and solute transport anomalies in coastal fen peats

H3: Multi-scale marine influences on coastal peatlands and their coastal forefield. The forefield of estuaries/coastal peatlands is influenced by several aspects such as wind-driven currents, vertical mixing as well as wave-driven near-shore circulation. Additionally, from the nearshore/coast, i.e. by exchange flows in terms of river plumes or dense gravity currents from estuaries. Due to external forces, the complex...more

H4: Waves and turbulence on wavy coastal seabeds inducing vertical scalar transport. The mixing process on and above the structured permeable seabed is investigated in a defined laboratory experiment to foster our understanding of turbulence and mixing in shallow coastal waters... more