1985 …2020

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Personal profile

Curriculum

Degrees:
Ph.D., Marine Ecology, University of Aarhus, DK,1984
Dr.Sc., Biogeochemistry, Odense University, DK,1996

Employment:
Assistant Lecturer, Institute of Ecology and Genetics, University of Aarhus, DK,1984
Assistant Professor, Institute of Biology, Odense University, DK,1985-1989
Associate Professor, Institute of Biology, University of Southern Denmark, DK,1989-present

Administration:
Institute Chairman, Institute of Biology, Odense University, DK, 1991. Member of the board of directors, Institute of Biology, Odense University, DK,1993-1999. Member of the Science study board, University of Southern Denmark, DK, 2000-2010. Member of the board of directors, Wadden Sea Centre, Ribe, Denmark, 2000-present. Member of the board of directors, Institute of biology, University of Southern Denmark, DK, 2006-2010. Member of CEMIT (Centre for Energy and Environmentally Efficient Technologies), University of Southern Denmark, DK, 2008-present

Major research projects:
SWAP – Sylter Wattenmeer Austausch Prozesse (BMFT-financed) (2.7 mill. kr.). Partner-coordinator and steering committee member,1990-1995. SMP – Strategic environmental research (Ministry of Environment financed) (1.9 mill. kr.). Partner-coordinator and steering committee member,1993-1996. SCP – Scientific Cooperation Program (DANIDA-financed) (2.0 mill. kr.). Partner-coordinator, 1995-2000. ISLED - Influence of rising Sea Level on Ecosystem Dynamics of salt marshes (EU-financed) (2.1 mill. kr.). Partner coordinator and steering committee member, 1998-2000. PUMPSEA - Peri-Urban Mangrove forests as filters and potential Phytoremediators of domestic Sewage in East Africa (EU-financed) (1.7 mill. kr.). Partner-coordinator and steering committee member, 2005-2008. Frame Fundings from the Danish Science Research Council (4 x 3 years) (ca. 1 mill. kr. per 3 years). Coordinator from 2002 to 2008, 1996-2008. REELGRASS - Key parameters and processes affecting the re-establishment of eelgrass in estuaries and coastal waters (financed by Danish Agency for Science) (10.5 mill. kr.). Work package leader and steering Committee member, 2008-2011. MARINVA - Marine invasive species (financed by the Danish Council for Independent Research) (0.1 mill. kr.). Partner, 2009-2011. Large Project - Stress thresholds for deterioration and recovery of shallow freshwater and marine macrophyte communities; the role of sediment processes (financed by the Danish council for Independent Research) (5.5 mill. kr.). Coordinator, 2010-2012.

Expeditions/visits:
Phuket Marine Biological Center, Phuket, Thailand (12 visits of about 1.5 months duration each), 1981-2010. Marine Sciences Research Center, State University of New York, New York, USA (6 months), 1988. National Institute of Oceanography, Karachi, Pakistan (1 month), 1990. School of Oceanography, University of Washington, Seattle, USA (12 months), 1993-1994. Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville, Australia (10 months), 2002-2003. University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (5 visits of about 1 month), 2005-2008

Teaching:
Teaching assistant in elementary genetics, University of Aarhus, DK, 1979-1980. Teaching assistant on graduate summer courses in marine biology, University of Aarhus, DK, 1980. Teacher on graduate courses in population ecology, University of Aarhus, DK, 1983. Organizer of and teacher on graduate and postgraduate summer courses in marine biology, University of Aarhus, DK, 1983-1984. Lecturer in biology, University of Southern Denmark, DK, 1985-present. Supervisor M.Sc. (5 present and 65 graduated students),1985-present. Supervisor Ph.D. (2 present and 10 graduated students), 1985 present

Editorial:
Review editor for the journal ”Aquatic Microbial Ecology”, 1995-2006. Editor of the AGU book “Interactions between macro- and microorganisms in marine sediments”, 2003-2005. Review editor for the journal “Marine Ecology Progress Series”, 2007-present. Member of Editorial Board of "Wetlands Ecology and Management", 2008-present. Member of Editorial Board of "International Journal of Oceanography", 2010-present.

Society Memberships:
American Society of Limnology and Oceanography; International Polychaete Association; The Association of Danish Marine Biologists; The Geochemical Society; International Association for Sediment Water Science, IASWS; Nereis-Park

Research areas

My research interests are primarily focused on the biogeochemistry and microbial ecology of coastal marine sediments inhabited by burrowing invertebrates and rooted macrophytes. I am currently involved in the following projects:

Infaunal stimulation of organic matter degradation in marine sediments. It is well known that benthic infauna is capable of stimulating the microbial decay of organic matter in sediments. However, the underlying mechanisms for this stimulation are not clearly elucidated. The questions I seek to answer in this respect are: 1. Do infaunal animals stimulate microbial activity directly by grazing or competing with them? 2. Do infaunal animals speed up microbial processes in deep sediment layers indirectly by introducing efficient electron acceptors, such as oxygen, via irrigation activities? 3. Do infaunal animals stimulate microbial activity indirectly by changing the diffusion geometry in anoxic sediment when they create a mosaic of sediment-water interfaces? Species of the common polychaete genus Nereis are excellent model organisms for this purpose. The massive colonization in recent years of the invasive polychaete Marenzelleria viridis in our coastal sediments has raised a number of new and important questions: 1. Vil this new species outcompete native species, such as Nereis diversicolor? 2. How does this new species affect the sediment biogeochemistry? I attempt to answer these questions in the years to come.

Anaerobic mineralization of carbon and nitrogen in marine sediment. Consortia of bacteria mediate anaerobic degradation of organic matter in marine sediments. Hydrolyzing bacteria splits large molecules into smaller organic units, which are degraded to organic monomers (e.g. amino acids) and short chain organic acids (e.g. acetate) by fermenting bacteria. Finally, the anaerobic respirers mineralize these small molecules to carbon dioxide and inorganic nutrients. My questions here are then: 1. Which organisms and processes are responsible for the release of carbon dioxide and ammonium during microbial degradation of organic matter in anoxic sediment? 2. How fast can the microbial community adapt to changes in the composition and quality of organic supplies? I attempt to solve these questions by the use of anaerobic sediment incubations.

Partitioning of microbial respiration processes in bioturbated and rooted intertidal sediments. The terminal microbial respiration in sediments may occur with oxygen, manganese, iron, nitrate and sulfate as electron acceptors. Much work has been done to quantify each of these respiration processes and to determine the partitioning between them in oceanic sediments. Much less is known about these processes in highly disturbed intertidal sediments, such as Spartina marshes and mangrove forests. My objectives for this work is to determine the role of burrowing animals (various crab species) and roots (eelgrass, cordgrass and mangrove trees) for the rates and partitioning of processes, while attempting to answer the following questions: 1. How do animals and roots control the vertical distribution of respiration with the various electron acceptors? 2. What is the temporal variability in the distribution of respiration processes and how is that related to animal and root activity?

In the project, REELGRASS, our aim is to explain why eelgrass is not recovering and recolonizing areas where is was present in the past. The conditions with respect to water quality should not any more hinder such recolonization. My contribution to the project is to determine the if benthic animals hampers the recolonization by grazing on roots and seeds, or if these animals actually facilitate recruitning of eelgrass by oxidizing the sediment.

Research areas

  • Biodiversity
  • Biogeochemistry
  • Bioturbation
  • Benthic fauna
  • Polychaetes
  • Marine biology
  • Oxygen depletion
  • Nitrogen
  • Mangrove
  • Marine ecology
  • Microbial processes and substance cycles
  • Environmental biology
  • Nutrients
  • Sediment-animal interactions
  • Substance turnover
  • Tropical ecosystems
  • Ecology

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Research Output

Macrofaunal control of microbial community structure in continental margin sediments

Deng, L., Bölsterli, D., Kristensen, E., Meile, C., Su, C. C., Bernasconi, S. M., Seidenkrantz, M. S., Glombitza, C., Lagostina, L., Han, X., Jørgensen, B. B., Røy, H. & Lever, M. A., 22. May 2020, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
File
  • Nitrogen and Phosphorus Export After Flooding of Agricultural Land by Coastal Managed Realignment

    Kristensen, E., Quintana, C. O., Valdemarsen, T. & Flindt, M. R., 22. Jun 2020, In : Estuaries and coasts.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Short-term fate of seagrass and macroalgal detritus in Arenicola marina bioturbated sediments

    Thomson, A. C. G., Kristensen, E., Valdemarsen, T. & Quintana, C. O., 2. Apr 2020, In : Marine Ecology Progress Series. 639, p. 21-35 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Open Access
    File
  • Assessing methods for restoring seagrass (Zostera muelleri) in Australia's subtropical waters

    Wendländer, N. S., Lange, T., Connolly, R. M., Kristensen, E., Pearson, R. M., Valdemarsen, T. & Flindt, M. R., 16. Dec 2019, In : Marine and Freshwater Research.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Fertilizer-derived N in opportunistic macroalgae after flooding of agricultural land

    Thorsen, S. W., Kristensen, E., Valdemarsen, T., Flindt, M. R., Quintana, C. O. & Holmer, M., 1. Jan 2019, In : Marine Ecology Progress Series. 616, p. 37-49

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Open Access
    File
  • 105 Downloads (Pure)

    Activities

    Biogeosciences Discussions (Journal)

    Erik Kristensen (Peer reviewer)

    15. Nov 2017

    Activity: Editorial work and peer reviewPeer review of manuscriptsResearch

    Gyldensteen Strand. Fra agerland til kystlagune

    Erik Kristensen (Guest lecturer)

    27. Oct 2017

    Activity: Talks and presentationsTalks and presentations in private or public companies

    Scientific Reports (Journal)

    Erik Kristensen (Peer reviewer)

    21. Aug 2017

    Activity: Editorial work and peer reviewPeer review of manuscriptsResearch

    University of Maryland

    Erik Kristensen (Visiting researcher)

    13. Aug 201716. Aug 2017

    Activity: Visiting another research institution

    Science Advances (Journal)

    Erik Kristensen (Peer reviewer)

    1. Jul 2017

    Activity: Editorial work and peer reviewPeer review of manuscriptsResearch

    Projects

    Press / Media

    Havmiljøet ved kysterne har det ringe

    Erik Kristensen

    04/07/2020

    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Press / Media

    Havmiljøet ved kysterne har det ringe

    Erik Kristensen

    04/07/2020

    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Press / Media

    Havmiljøet ved kysterne har det ringe

    Erik Kristensen

    03/07/2020

    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Press / Media

    Vandmiljøet lever ikke op til EU's krav

    Erik Kristensen

    03/07/2020

    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Press / Media

    Lillebælt: Iltsvind og færre fisk bekymrer fiskerne

    Erik Kristensen

    03/07/2020

    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Press / Media