My name is Carolyn-Monika Görres. As a trained landscape ecologist, I am conducting my research at the fascinating interface of plant science, soil science and hydrology. Growing up in the German Lower Rhine region, I came early in contact with conflicts between nature conservationists and local populations (e.g. dike relocations for flood protection). This started my interest in ecosystem research as I wanted to understand in more detail the consequences of modifying the landscape – not only on a local scale, but also its effects on neighbouring regions.
I studied landscape ecology and nature conservation at the University of Greifswald (Germany). The education did not only cover pedology, botany, zoology and physical geography, but also economics, environmental law and ethics. In 2007, I majored in peatland ecology because the tight interconnection between soil, vegetation and hydrology in these ecosystems fascinates me. Peatlands also play an important role in the global carbon cycle and I came in first contact with climate change research. For my diploma thesis, I performed my very first CH4 flux measurements with manual chambers at a pristine peatland in Finland, and I have been hooked on greenhouse gas flux measurements ever since. I have become an expert on soil greenhouse gas fluxes and associated measurement techniques. My long-term goal as a scientist is to help advance our understanding of the terrestrial carbon and nitrogen cycle through innovative interdisciplinary research, and thus further the development of sustainable land management systems and climate change mitigation strategies.
Greenhouse gases are invisible to the eye, but they are all around us and are an integral part of life. In this blog, I would like to give you my personal view of what it is like to be a greenhouse gas flux scientist, and to share my passion for science with you.