This field encompasses several subdisciplines; in our case especially plant-soil relations, geochemistry and pedology. A major focal area is interactions among soils, microbes and plants, and their implications for forest nutrition management, long-term productivity and the carbon balance. Another major focal area is the biogeochemistry of mercury in soils, especially the effects of forest activities and restoration of wetlands.
Our studies are based on detailed analysis in the laboratory, e.g. involving X-ray absorption spectroscopy to reveal the chemical speciation and linkage between mercury, sulfur and iron geochemistry, and very intensive pulse-chase isotope labelling experiments to study the cycles of nitrogen and carbon directly in the field.