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New professor of greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation at Aarhus University

Søren O. Petersen has been appointed professor of greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation at the Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University.

2019.09.09 | Camilla Brodam

Søren O. Petersen has been appointed professor of greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation. Photo: Camilla Brodam

Aarhus University has appointed Søren O. Petersen as professor of greenhouse gas emissions and mitigation at the Department of Agroecology with effect from 1 September 2019.

Søren O. Petersen is a trained biologist specialized in microbial ecology. The understanding of microbiological processes, and the use of that knowledge to control emissions of, particularly, nitrous oxide and methane has been the focus of his research over the past 20 years. Søren O. Petersen has investigated methods to reduce methane emissions from stored manure, and to reduce nitrous oxide emissions when fertilizers, manure and plant residues are used in the field. Thus, he was leading efforts to document a potential for methane oxidation, a microbial process that degrades methane, in floating crusts on manure storages.

"I want to understand the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural systems, because it is the key to identification of effective measures and document mitigation opportunities," Søren O. Petersen says about his research. Environmental issues within agriculture have played a major role for the professor throughout his professional work. Starting with his PhD dissertation at Aalborg University where he wrote about atmospheric losses when recycling animal manure to soil. Now he himself is supervisor of new PhD students, and he is pleased with the growing focus on greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.

“We are now starting several projects within a new Climate Research Program, as well as an EU project,” the professor says. This research will be done in collaboration with colleagues from AU and a number of other research institutions. The new projects will investigate emission factors for nitrous oxide, effects of nitrification inhibitors on climate and the environment, better documentation of manure methane emissions, and the development of a new technology to exploit methane oxidation in manure storages.

Søren O. Petersen hopes that his research will lead to a better understanding of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and how they can be reduced more effectively.


For more information please contact

Professor Søren O. Petersen, Department of Agroecology, email: sop@agro.au.dk, telephone:  +45 8715 7756

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