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The CRC AquaDiva Team Structure

The need to combine interdisciplinary approaches to CZ research is especially urgent given the accelerating rates of biodiversity loss, land-use and climate change, increased pollutants inputs, and alteration of nutrient cycles, that all threaten to affect the capacity of the CZ to deliver vital functions to society. The CRC AquaDiva team combines the disciplines necessary to attack research themes that link biology, geology, hydrology, and geochemistry in the CZ. The overall team will be organized into four thematic groups. Three of the groups define scientific approaches focusing on the biological inventory and activity (A), characterizing fluxes of water and gases in the different environments that link surface and subsurface (B), and characterizing the subsurface environment and the movement of nutrients, particles, and temperature within it (C). Each group is organized and led by one of the three speakers of the CRC and an associated postdoc to ensure internal interaction both on the structural and working level.

Project Group A

                                            (Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning)


This thematic group, coordinated by Kirsten Küsel, combines researchers, who use biomarker 'fingerprints' and a range of molecular-based tools to address the overall questions: who is there? and what are they doing? The Coupling and Event themes are addressed by A group researchers, who investigate the transfer of 'fingerprints' from the surface to the subsurface, as well as the overall patterns and temporal variation in the diversity and activity of organisms within the subsurface of the CZ. Our molecular approaches will address all three domains of life to obtain a holistic view on the subsurface biosphere.


Project Group B

                                                            (Fluxes and element flows)


Project group B, coordinated by Susan Trumbore, seeks to quantify processes controlling inputs to and exports from the subsurface, as well as rates of internal recycling. They will focus on components and processes needed to evaluate the CZ budgets of energy, water, and selected elements needed for life, especially the fluid transport processes that link the vegetation, surface, and subsurface. The Coupling and Event themes are addressed by B group researchers through observations of spatial heterogeneity and temporal variability of surface inputs (precipitation, temperature, organic C), and how these signals are transformed as they are transmitted to the subsurface. The B group team also has a strong emphasis on applying new technologies and approaches to address key questions of CZ research.

Project Group C

                                            (Interactions at subsurface solid/fluid interface)


This thematic field, coordinated by Kai Uwe Totsche, combines research that aims at an exploration of the major mineral, organic, and mineral-organic mobile components that might act as markers, vectors, and sinks for element cycling in the subsurface part of the CZ. The Coupling and Event themes presume the existence of a conductive and active network of pores, faults, and fractures that connect the surface with the subsurface environment. Yet, geometric, topologic, and biogeo-chemical interface properties of the conduit system are decisive for the amounts and travel distances that fluids (liquids and gases) may migrate and that fluid phase compounds are transported. As such, the information provided by this thematic group is the fundamental prerequisite to address CRC AquaDiva's main themes and is mandatory for the modeling of water, matter, and energy fluxes.


Project Group D

                                                   (Informatics, training and management)

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Project group D combines projects focusing on central tasks:

First, a semantics-based information infrastructure coherently integrating structured experimental data and unstructured textual data was developed by D01 (Hahn, König-Ries). Based on existing technology, namely the BExIS platform developed by König-Ries (Heimann et al. 2010), D01 set up a data management system that allows AquaDiva scientists to store data right from the project start and to safeguard all data obtained during the course of the CRC. This system will be combined with innovative research approaches for semantically integrated and interoperable information system search and exploration platforms. The CRC AquaDiva will take advantage of the Jena University Language & Information Engineering (JULIE) Lab, an internationally visible hub for text analytics and ontology engineering for the life sciences (Schulz et al. 2007). At the outset of this project, a data management platform is provided for the AquaDiva scientists, together with continuous user support. This will allow for novel "ways to do science" by supporting flexible reasoning about differently structured scientific knowledge, novel data-driven simulations, and interactive problem solving in the following phases of the CRC.

Second, an integrated Research Training Group will provide training and education to the AquaDiva doctoral and postdoctoral researchers in a structured program, supervised by an own coordinator. Third, the Hainich CZE will be managed and maintained by the field coordinator and AquaDiva technicians. Fourth, the entire CRC AquaDiva will be supported by a scientific coordinator.