Welcome! I am a currently doing my postdoc at the hydrogen peroxide team ("HP team") of IBED-FAME of the University of Amsterdam. I previously did my PhD on the effects of rising CO2 on the harmful cyanobacterium Microcystis (see below).
Harmful cyanobacteria ("blue-green algae", or in Dutch "blauwalgen") cause ecological and economical problems worldwide (see example of a cyanobacterial bloom below). A promising short-term method to selectively combat harmful cyanobacterial blooms in lakes is the application of a low concentration of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Cyanobacteria are much more sensitive to H2O2 than for example eukaryotic algae, because cyanobacteria use a Mehler-like reaction that does not produce H2O2. Besides that applying a low concentration of H2O2 can selectively kill cyanobacteria while eukaryotic algae remain virtually unharmed, the H2O2 method is also relatively cheap to apply compared to other lake mitigation methods, and H2O2 rapidly decomposes to simply water (H2O) and oxygen (O2), typically within one day, not leaving any chemical traces in the environment. Our research group has applied H2O2 treatments to several cyanobacteria-dominated lakes in the Netherlands since 2009 (Matthijs et al., 2012). Currently, we investigate under which conditions the H2O2 treatment method is most successful. I work together with PhD student Tim Piel and our project is funded by TTW-NWO.
Our research constist of both lab and lake experiments. In the lab we typically cultivate isolated harmful cyanobacteria in custom-made chemostats optimized for phytoplankton growth (see picture below).
Among the Dutch lakes we study are Oosterduinse Meer and Klinkenbergerplas. During summertime, both lakes often have dense cyanobacterial blooms. We typically use small boats with electric engines to monitor and samples these lakes (see picture below). For an impression of the actual H2O2 lake treatments, please see the "Field impression" tab of my page.
Other members of our team include dr. Petra Visser (project leader), Erik Weenink (PhD student), Pieter Slot (technician), Maria van Herk (technician), Mariël Leon-Grooters (technician), dr. Hongjie Qin (guest researcher) and several students (see picture below). We have a website with updates about our work (https://hpprojects.blog/) and a Twitter account (https://twitter.com/h2o2projects?lang=en).