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Dr Karsten Kalbitz (1965) has been appointed Professor of Earth Surface Science at the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) in the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

Dr Karsten Kalbitz (1965) has been appointed Professor of Earth Surface Science at the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) in the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam.

As Chair of Earth Surface Science, Prof. Kalbitz will work towards an improved understanding of geo-ecological systems in a changing environment. His domain will be the interface of soil, air and water in the landscape. Prof. Kalbitz will investigate interrelationships between biogeochemical and geomorphological processes in terrestrial and adjacent aquatic ecosystems at different scales from the molecular scale to landscape level. Multidisciplinary approaches, innovative experiments and application of modern tools of analytical chemistry are essential preconditions if the scientific challenges of climate change and other human-made impacts are to be met. Within his Chair, the dynamics of organic matter in soils, sediments and waters will be one central research area which is related to geomorphology, soil science, ecosystem functioning and the dynamics of pollutants in soils and waters. This research area is highly topical taking into account that the dynamics of organic matter is extremely sensitive to changes in climate and land use, while being crucial for the main functions of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

Prof. Kalbitz's research background lies in the dynamics of matter fluxes and their controlling factors and processes in natural and anthropogenic ecosystems. More specifically, he has been interested in the dynamics of dissolved organic matter. It is an important key driver of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and also an excellent medium to link different disciplines and scales.

From 1993 to 1998 Prof. Kalbitz worked at the Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) Leipzig-Halle (Germany) and earned his PhD degree in soil science in 1996. He later moved to the University of Bayreuth (Germany) where he completed his Habilitation in 2004 and held a post until his move to the UvA. Dr Kalbitz is an Associate Editor of the international journal Biogeochemistry.