Saskia Läubli - Research Interests and Education

The general theme of my research interest is the biogeochemistry of freshwaters with a focus on lakes and ponds. Freshwater-ecosystems can act as biogeochemical pipelines between the solid earth surface and the atmosphere, processing organic matter into greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. However, depending on several conditions, lakes and ponds can also foster the sequestration of organic and inorganic carbon. Given the exposure to a rapidly changing environment, it is important to better understand microbially mediated biogeochemical processes, primarily related to the break-down of organic matter, particularly in environments that are predicted to undergo large changes in mean annual temperature and seasonality within the next decades. 

My research revolves around ecosystem connectivity effects on microbial metabolism and associated greenhouse gas dynamics of Arctic and high Alpine lakes and ponds. My PhD project is part of a joint effort including the Polish Academy of Sciences. Our aim is to gather more insight into (currently) cold tempered freshwater ecosystems responses and feedbacks to major environmental changes. We study shallow lakes and ponds of two different regions, namely south western Spitsbergen and the Swiss Alps. Our main goal is to improve our mechanistic understanding of ecosystem connectivity effects on the biogeochemistry of Arctic and high Alpine lakes and ponds. We aim to develop a monitoring method to observe changes within these highly vulnerable ecosystems, thereby connecting different biogeochemical variables in time and space. From a practical point of view, my work includes field investigations, real-time limnological monitoring and assessing paleolimnological data amongst other things.

Educational Background

  • Since August 2022: PhD Candidate, University of Basel
  • 2021 – 2022: Scientific Associate, Eawag Dubendorf
  • 2018 – 2021: MSc in Environmental Sciences with a major in Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics, ETH Zurich. Thesis: Formation dynamics of methane and carbon dioxide in anoxic incubations of ombrotrophic peat soils.
  • 2014 – 2018: BSc in Geosciences, University of Basel. Thesis: Diurnal methane dynamics and possible sources of methane in the oxygenated water column of meromictic alpine Lake Cadagno.
Saskia Foto

Saskia Läubli