Max Planck Gesellschaft




Carsten Simon
PhD student

Room: B1.005
Phone: +49 3641 576132
Email: csimon@bgc-jena.mpg.de
ORCID ID
Profile

Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry
Molecular Biogeochemistry
Street adress: Hans-Knöll-Str. 10, 07745 Jena, Germany
P.O. Box: 100164, 07701 Jena, Germany


Research Interests
Ecosystem imprints in dissolved organic matter (DOM)

Dissolved Organic Matter (DOM) is one of the most complex mixtures on earth, being composed of thousands of individual molecules. Only a small fraction of the DOM pool can be characterized by classical analytical methods based on isolation, separation and chemical degradation treatment (Hedges et al., 2000). Recent advances in Fourier-Transform Mass Spectrometry (FTMS) enable the detailed analysis of DOM in unrivaled resolution without extensive sample preparation. In our group, we mainly achieve this with the help of an Orbitrap Elite FTMS instrument.

Freeze-dried DOM from different river and forest sites

Studies indicate that DOM contains an ubiquitous set of mass peaks and potentially informative "rare" mass peaks not occuring in every ecosystem sampled (e.g., Kellerman et al., 2014; Zark & Dittmar 2018). The presence of an ubiquitous core set of compounds suggests that there may be general pathways of DOM evolution that are potentially active under all environmental settings. Nevertheless, the DOM pool is also highly dynamic due to 1) water supply, 2) the biological inventory in terms of species composition and process diversity, and 3) physicochemical interactions. The DOM signal thus represents an ecosystem's fingerprint at a given time with potentially "rare" signals being indicative of single factors (Roth et al., 2014). My research aims to disentangle these effects, and to come up with new descriptors of DOM chemodiversity.


Academic education

Since 07/2019 Associated scientist in the research group of Molecular Biogeochemistry, MPI-BGC, Jena
07/2018-09/2018 Visiting grad student in the lab of Prof. Pieter Dorrestein at Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California San Diego (UCSD), San Diego, USA
06/2015-06/2019 PhD fellow in the research group of Molecular Biogeochemistry, MPI-BGC, Jena
2012-2015 M.Sc. Marine Environmental Sciences at the Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Sea (ICBM), University of Oldenburg, Germany
2009-2012 B.Sc. Biogeosciences at the Institute for Geosciences, University of Jena, Germany

Publications

Roth VN, Lange M, Simon C, Hertkorn N, Bucher S, Goodall T, Griffiths RI, Mellado-Vázquez PG, Mommer L, Oram NJ, Weigelt A, Dittmar T & G Gleixner (2019): Persistence of dissolved organic matter explained by molecular changes during its passage through soil. Nature Geoscience, available online, doi: 10.1038/s41561-019-0417-4.

Simon C, Osterholz H, Koschinsky A & T Dittmar (2019): Riverine mixing at the molecular scale - An ultrahigh-resolution mass spectrometry study on dissolved organic matter and selected metals in the Amazon confluence zone (Manaus, Brazil). Organic Geochemistry, 129: 45-62, doi: 10.1016/j.orggeochem.2019.01.013.

Simon C, Roth VN, Dittmar T & G Gleixner (2018): Molecular signals of heterogeneous terrestrial environments identified in dissolved organic matter: A comparative analysis of Orbitrap and ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometers. Frontiers in Earth Science, 6: 138, doi: 10.3389/feart.2018.00138.


Presentations

Simon C, Roth VN, Dittmar T & G Gleixner (2018): Identification of ecosystem-specific markers in dissolved organic matter by Orbitrap tandem mass spectrometry. Oral. European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2018 (EGU 2018), 04/08/2018 - 04/13/2018. Vienna, Austria.

Simon C, Roth VN, Li Y, Dittmar T & G Gleixner (2017): Reading the molecular signature of ecosystems in DOM. Comparative analysis of ultrahigh resolution mass data (FT-ICR MS vs. Orbitrap). Poster. European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2017 (EGU 2017), 04/23/2017 - 04/28/2017. Vienna, Austria.

Simon C, Koschinsky A & T Dittmar (2016): Riverine mixing at the molecular scale - An ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry study on the fate of Dissolved Organic Matter (DOM) and selected metals in the Amazon confluence zone (Manaus, Brazil). Oral and Poster. 18th International Conference of International Humic Substances Society (IHSS 18), 09/11/2016 - 09/16/2016. Kanazawa, Japan.

Simon C, Roth VN, Pohnert G, Dittmar T & G Gleixner (2016): Vergleichende Analyse ultrahochaufgelöster massenspektrometrischer Daten (FT-ICR MS/ Orbitrap) von gelöstem organischen Material. Poster. LC-MS in der Umweltanalytik, 06/06/2016 - 06/07/2016. Leipzig, Germany.


Awards

2016 IHSS travel award. 18th International Conference of International Humic Substance Society (IHSS 18), 09/11/2016 - 09/16/2016. Kanazawa, Japan.

IMPRS-gBGC PhD stipend. Stipend of the International Max Planck Research School for global biogeochemical cycles (IMPRS-gBGC), granted from 06/2015-06/2019. Jena, Germany.


Further reading

Hedges JI, Eglinton G, Hatcher PG, et al. (2000): The molecularly-uncharacterized component of nonliving organic matter in natural environments. Organic Geochemistry, 31: 945–958.

Kellerman AM, Dittmar T, Kothawala DN & LJ Tranvik (2014): Chemodiversity of dissolved organic matter in lakes driven by climate and hydrology. Nature Communications, 5: 3804, doi: 10.1038/ncomms4804.

Roth VN, Dittmar T, Gaupp R & G Gleixner (2014): Ecosystem-specific composition of dissolved organic matter. Vadose Zone Journal, 13, doi: 10.2136/vzj2013.09.0162.

Zark M & T Dittmar T (2018): Universal molecular structures in natural dissolved organic matter. Nature Communications, 9: 3178, doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-05665-9.

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