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Dr R. Bol (1962) has been appointed professor of Terrestrial Biogeochemistry at the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam (UvA). Roland Bol combines his professorship with his position as research leader at the Helmholtz Forschungszentrum Jülich.

Prof Roland Bol, professor Terrestrial Biogeochemistry, IBED
Photo by Dirk Gillissen

Roland Bol carries out research into biogeochemistry. That is the study of the cycles of chemical elements such as carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus and their interactions with, and incorporation in living organisms. He focuses specifically on the application of advanced technologies such as non-traditional stable isotope analysis and mass spectrometry of soil organic carbon components. Bol pays particular attention to nanoparticles. 

As UvA professor Bol will be focusing on complex biogeochemical processes that take place on the natural borders between soil, water and air. One example is the biotic and abiotic processes that determine, within a specific ecosystem, whether carbon is released by the soil as carbon dioxide, dissolved carbon or in a particulate form, or whether the carbon component is stored in the soil in a specific organic form.

Since 2012, Bol has led the research group ‘Soil organic matter and elemental cycles’ at the Helmholtz Forschungszentrum Jülich in Germany. Before that, he was employed as team leader at North Wyke Research and the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research in the UK.