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  • Kelly Robert Redeker

    Current affiliation: University of York

    Bio

    In large, complicated systems sometimes small things can have outsized impacts. One of the best examples of this is the recent development of the Antarctic Ozone Hole, which is driven by compounds that only exist at the part-per-trillion (ppt) level in our atmosphere. People have described this concentration as being similar to a single drop of liquid mixed within an olympic sized swimming pool worth of water. There are many more examples where very low concentration compounds strongly affect the systems in which they are found, and many of these processes are important to human health, sustainable development and climate change. The Redeker lab uses these low concentration compounds to explore a range of interests. We are currently engaged in research that: i) examines production of trace gases in natural and human managed ecosystems and how differences in these compounds are affected by/affect plant and microbial communities, regional air quality and long term climate change, ii) explores microbial impacts on climate in polar environments, iii) enhances productivity in anearobic digestors by characterising metabolic pathways and identifying potential "choke-points" and ways to rectify them, iv) identifies and utilizes plant-defense compounds as pesticide replacements to promote sustainable agriculture techniques, v) using the variance in trace gases emitted from organisms, individually and as a species, to develop non-invasive "fingerprinting" technologies for soil microbial communities or human health diagnostics. To research these various projects the Redeker lab is equipped with a rnage of HPLC and GC technology and has recently been awarded a NERC Strategic Capitol Funding award that has allowed us to purchase a state-of-the-art GC-MS-c-IRMS which allows us to examine, in natural systems at natural concentrations, isotopic signatures of volatile and semi-volatile compunds. In addition to the research described above the Redeker lab is also engaged in projects that examine: i) quantifying the impact of wind on trace gas fluxes from soils and plant tissues, ii) modelling concentrations of plant-produced compounds around leaf and root tissues, and iii) utilizing recent advances in genetic technologies to identify homologues for biogenic compounds/unknown microbial species. The research has field, laboratory and computational aspects and is pursued in a myriad of environments, from agricultural fields to anearobic digestors, across UK temperate forests, salt marshes, grasslands and peat bogs and from polar ice sheets to mangrove lagoons.




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