Université de Lyon
My research focuses on understanding the the relationships between chemical parameters including a central contaminant such as mercury in arctic snowpacks and the microbial communities inhabiting them. Through a number of field studies, we have examined microbial community structure in the snow during the spring in different types of snow and identified potential changes in diversity, activity, function and sources (atmospheric deposition, sea aerosols, etc.) of microbial populations. Snow chemistry (inorganic ions, organic acids, pH, carbon and contaminants) was also studied in detail and related to microbial data (Larose et al, 2013b). We focused mainly on the environmental sources of mercury (Hg) species (bioavailable Hg and methylmercury) and their fate and transfer in the Arctic environment. These results were published in a series of papers (over 10 papers since 2007) and allowed us to improve our understanding of community dynamics in the snow, allowing us to gain insights on potential drivers of the snow ecosystem, and the drivers of mercury cycling in Arctic snow. We were able to experiment with new techniques to analyze microbial community function, such as bioreporters for measuring mercury and omics approaches. Through these studies, we have been able to identify key aspects that impact snow and ice ecosystem functioning in Svalbard (e.g. Maccario et al., 2014, Sanguino et al., 2015).