2001-2005, PhD Biogeochemistry, ECPM, CGS, Louis Pasteur University, Strasbourg, France
2001, Advanced degree in Soil Science, INRA-ENSAM (National institute of agronomic research), Montpellier & Henri Poincare University, Nancy France.
2000, Master’s degree in Cellular Biology and Physiology, Claude Bernard University, Lyon, France
1999, Master’s degree in Geosciences, Claude Bernard University, Lyon, France
2010 to present, Associate Professor, and Chair holder of the Canadian Research Chair in Terrestrial Biogeochemistry, Chemistry department, Sherbrooke University, Qc, Canada.
2005-2010, Research associate, Princeton Environmental Institute, Princeton University, NJ, USA.
The cycling of major nutrients, such as carbon and nitrogen, is key to ecosystems function and evolution. The key reactions controlling the transformation and transfer of these essential elements (i.e. C and N) often rely on biological activity, especially prokaryotes. These microbial reactionsare overwhelmingly catalysed by metalloenzymes, which require trace metals for their activity. The role and importance of trace metal dynamics in soil and trace metal homeostasis (acquisition and use) in key prokaryotes on major nutrients cycling remain elusive.
In this seminar, I will discuss the importance of trace metals for major nutrients cycling using nitrogen fixation as an example. I will specifically show that, (i) trace metal availability can limit major nutrients cycling at the global scale, and (ii) the importance of trace metal cofactor diversity has been largely underestimated, leading to misconceptions of biological nitrogen fixation and likely other essential biological processes.
I will conclude by presenting some research avenues, which in my view are essential for the field moving forward. This will include the need for further researchon trace metal dynamics in natural ecosystems as well as the need to improve our understanding of trace metals acquisition at the environmental matrix-organisms interface.