Tobias Bölscher

Researcher

Research

I am a soil biogeochemist studying how root exudation affects mineral bound organic matter. Soils stores large amounts of organic matter for centuries or even millennia, giving soils an important function in climate regulation and providing potential for carbon sequestration. Up to 90% of a soil’s organic matter inventory resides in associations with reactive minerals, protecting it from microbial decomposition. Yet, plant roots promote mineral weathering via root exudation to mobilize nutrients, but little is known how root exudation affects mineral-protected organic matter. My research aims to evaluate mechanism through which root exudation mobilizes mineral bound organic matter at the root-soil interface. I am carrying out rhizobox experiments and apply a set of analytical techniques such as high-resolution mass spectrometry and synchrotron-based X-ray absorption spectroscopy to produce qualitative and quantitative data.

My project was funded by an International Postdoc Grant from the Swedish Research Council VR and I am conducting my research at Lund University, Stanford University and University of Massachusetts Amherst.