12 Mai 2022

Webinaire Québec-Océan : Silvia Zieger (Aarhus Univeristy)

(Optical) Chemical Sensing – A chemist’s approach to unravel complex and heterogeneous environments

Conférencier: Silvia Zieger (Aarhus University)

Jeudi 12 mai à 12h - En ligne et dans la salle Estelle Laberge (ISMER)


Sediments in marine and freshwater systems, as well as the overlying water column, are characterized by various chemical and biological processes that are closely entangled and interdependent. These environmental conditions create highly complex and disparate ecosystems with fragile equilibria that are constantly compromised by diverse anthropogenic and natural contaminants. To date, however, we know little about the individual interrelated biodegradation processes, related chemical dynamics, or the interdependence of key metabolic analytes, such as pH, T, O2, and CO2.
To unravel these complex and heterogeneous environments and contribute to smarter pollution mitigation measures, suitable sensors are required that allow the determination of relevant biochemical parameters as well as their interdependence with high spatial and temporal resolution. Over the past
years, chemical sensors have already proven to be a valuable tool for environmental monitoring.
Electrochemical sensors are the classic method of choice for minimally invasive measurements to study interfacial processes in sediments, where they provide high spatial resolution of steep gradients. Another group of chemical sensors, optical chemical sensors, are less common but have great potential for visualizing chemical heterogeneities in complex samples in 2D.3 In addition, they have the inherent ability to measure multiple analytes simultaneously.4 Especially when combined, electrochemical and optical chemical sensors offer promising opportunities for a more holistic approach to environmental monitoring.
In my presentation, I will present our current advances on electrochemical and optical chemical sensors and focus on potential application of these sensors in aquatic biological ecosystems.