SITES_bård 160701-4

2019 > 03

Photo: Alexander Meire. Photo: Alexander Meire.

Tell us about your background?
I´m from Belgium where I obtained a master’s degree in ecology and electromechanical engineering. After my studies I worked as an Automation Engineer.

But recently, my girlfriend received a Postdoc position at the Abisko field station. We both like northern environments so we decided to take a leap northwards. I applied for the Research Engineer position and was selected. This position offers an interesting combination of fieldwork and computer analysis. I think this is where my background in data handling and automation will be useful.

What is your relation to terrestrial/limnic field research?
I got a taste of biology through my family from an early age. Later, during the course of my degree in ecology, I had several opportunities to connect with researchers within both terrestrial and limnic fields. In my master degree I spent one year in Sweden (Erasmus). During my Erasmus I took a course in limnology and I followed the Arctic Geoecology course in Abisko. I also followed a field course in the alps about plant inventarisation and assisted PhD students in Finmark and Iceland.
Tell me about your first impresion of Abisko?
Abisko is a magicical place with the lake, the mountains and the northern lights. But it is also extreme in many ways such as the weather, the nature, the isolation and the rate of climate change. The station is fairly big and has a lot to offer to all kind of researchers. It is a very nice place to work and the wilderness starts at the doorstep.
What are your expectations for your assignment as Research Engineer at the most northern SITES location?
My main tasks will be to take part in and work with the measurement’s programmes for SITES (SITES water and SITES spectral) and ICOS. I hope to learn more about measuring systems and the data they provide around Abisko and Sweden. I also look forward to learn more about the other SITES field stations and the collaboration.

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The SkyLine3D has now been installed at Skogaryd. This provides a new approach to measure fluxes of GHG (greenhouse gas emissions) at high spatial and temporal resolution across a heterogeneous lake system currently in transition to a wetland. The system is fully automated and enables fine-scale CO2and CH4 fluxes measurement using both chamber technology, and dynamic deployment of a mobile, Eddy Covariance (EC) system, with placement controlled by a dynamic footprint model. Furthermore, highly replicated measurements can be done in time and space. In combination with fine-scale measurements of key environmental variables underpinning the measured fluxes in different vegetation types, it will be possible to upscale GHG emissions from these freshwater wetlands.
The project is funded by NERC and a collaboration between scientists at the Universities of York (UK), Gothenburg and Lund.

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The European H2020 project DiverIMPACTS builds on 10 field experiments across Europe to quantify impacts of crop diversification. A new long-term experiment started in 2018 on the SITES Lönnstorp research station at SLU in Alnarp, Southern Sweden, with the objective to study the benefits and challenges of introducing multiple cropping in organic farming.

Scanian soils generally have a high fertility but some organic cropping systems depend heavily on external inputs, especially nitrogen. This may be unsustainable in the long term since the prices of organic manures and fertilizers are increasingly steeply.

Picture above: An overview of the DiverIMPACTS-experiment at SITES Lönnstorp. Photo: Ryan Davidson.Aerial view of the DiverIMPACTS field experiment at SITES Lönnstorp. Photo: Ryan Davidson

The reference used here is a six-year crop rotation with clover and spring pea as nitrogen suppliers, as well as nitrogen-intensive crops, e.g. winter oilseed rape. With growers and advisors, we designed an alternative crop rotation based on the same six main crops but including multi-species cover crops and intercrops. This rotation introduces the innovation of sowing a frost-sensitive legume (faba bean) together with oilseed rape, and includes high value cash crops (lupine and malting barley) in intercrops.

The experiment will also give information about whether intercropping reduces the benefits of break crops in rotations, for instance, since the diversified rotation only has one year of legume-free break, it will provide information about the risk of increased legume disease incidence when increasing the frequency of legumes. We will assess if the diversification strategies increase resilience with more diversified income sources and with less use of external inputs.


Pictures above: The two crop rotations compared on the DiverIMPACTS field experiment at SITES Lönnstorp. Image: Nicolas Carton.

Link to DiverIMPACTS homepage:

Nicolas Carton,
Georg Carlsson
Erik Steen Jensen

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This winter the whole mesocosms infrastructure has suffered from the harsh weather. Due to the strong winds of Alfrida's storm, with gust winds reaching more than 27 m/s, the whole infrastructure was hard shaken and separated in three pieces, which are now pushed into each other by ice stress. Fortunately, no experiments were going on this winter!! We are waiting until the ice melting to properly evaluate the damages and fix the whole infrastructure to be back again for the next season

Don´t miss the chance!
It´s still time to apply to use SITES AquaNet mesocosm infrastructure, More info here.

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What are your expectations for your assignment as SITES deputy director?
To be part of and continue develop the shared infrastructure that is SITES and its nine research stations. To be part of making conditions optimal to ensure that research coming out based on SITES is of absolute world-class. My role is to support and ensure that everything functions smoothly.

Tell us about your background?
My background is in geology with focus on glaciology. I did my masters in Tarfala and after this I worked at Tarfala, Greenland and Antarctic with focus on ice-cores and long-term data series during my thesis work. After finishing my thesis, I felt it was more fun to coordinate and facilitate. Which I did during almost eight years at the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat with international as well as national collaborations. An important part of this was to make data accessible, both hands-on and with regards to strategic policy work.
What is your relation to terrester/limnic field research?
I have a background in geoscience with focus on glaciology, for example through field work at Tarfala, Greenland and Svalbard. Moreover, I have basic training in biology as well as a deep personal interest.
Why are research infrastructures of importance today?
Good infrastructure enables a strong positive interaction between research groups and the research infrastructure. To achieve this an ongoing long-term dialogue on what the researchers need and what the infrastructure can provide is needed. The infrastructure should make it possible also for individual research applications to be deemed possible to conduct. The good research idea should not be hampered because of lack of good infrastructure. Moreover, the infrastructure should provide a creative platform for meetings, collaborations and new ideas.
What will be your strongest contribution to SITES?
I hope my contribution will be within at least two areas. First, to ensure that SITES has solid routines for data flows, make sure that data is uploaded to the SITES data portal and becomes a natural part of the research process for staff and researchers using the research stations. Second, to be part of and create the team spirit at SITES through my coordinating role. Through this I hope to create a stable ground for SITES long-term development.
Where is SITES in five years?
SITES is a clear asset for long-term research programs and an important gateway into Sweden and Swedish ecosystem science for international collaborations. SITES has by then grown even bigger with even more associated stations.

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