Development of a microfluidic platform to study carbon fixation by algae
Since the industrial revolution approximately 30% of the anthropogenic CO2 is absorbed by oceans. The absorption of CO2 accelerates ocean acidification and puts pressure on the ecosystem. The oceanic carbon cycle is largely affected by algae. In particular specific algae, named Coccolithophores, are in some regions responsible for more than 20% of the total carbon fixation by means of photosynthesis and calcification.
In the past decades a lot of field and lab research has been performed on phytoplankton calcification, its climate impact and how it is affected by rising CO2 concentrations. However, it is still hard to predict future scenarios, due to the influence of a large number of factors.In my PhD project a microfluidic platform will be developed to study single Coccolithophores using i.e. electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) to get more insight in this complex ecosystem.