Max Planck Gesellschaft

Simon Benk
PhD student

Room: B1.005
Phone: +49 3641 57 6131

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
PhD project: Understanding Dissolved Organic Matter in the Critical Zone

Processes that are taking place in surface-, soil- and groundwater are mirrored in the chemical composition of dissolved organic matter (DOM). I use non-targeted high-resolution mass spectrometry (Orbitrap) and radiocarbon accelerator mass spectrometry (14C-AMS) in order to identify markers for fast transport of surface-derived DOM through the subsurface.

Further, by performing litter decomposition experiments with plant leaves I try to assess vegetation-specific signals in DOM. Identifying such highly specific signals will help in being able to trace biomass-derived surface inputs through the terrestrial carbon cycle.

Academic education

Since 06/2016 PhD candidate in the research group Molecular Biogeochemistry, MPI-BGC, Jena
2010-2016 M.Sc. & B. Sc. Geosciences at the Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Heidelberg, Germany

Thesis: "Organohalogen Emissions from Australian Salt Lakes"

Benk S.A., Yan L., Lehmann R., Roth V-N., Schwab V.F., Totsche K.U., Küsel K., Gleixner G. Fueling Diversity in the Subsurface: Composition and Age of Dissolved Organic Matter in the Critical Zone. Front. Earth. Sci., 7 (2019) 296, doi: 10.3389/feart.2019.00296.

Sattler T., Sörgel M., Wittmer J., Bourtsoukidis E., Krause T., Atlas E., Benk S.A., Bleichner S., Kamilli K., Ofner J., Kopetzky R., Held A., Palm W.U., Williams J., Zetzsch C., Schöler H.F. Natural Formation of Chloro- and Bromoacetone in Salt Lakes of Western Australia. Atmosphere, 10 (2019) 663, doi:10.3390/atmos10110663.

Benk S.A., Li Y., Roth V-N., Gleixner, G. Lignin Dimers as Potential Markers for 14C-young terrestrial Dissolved Organic Matter in the Critical Zone. Front. Earth Sci., 6 (2018) 168, doi:10.3389/feart.2018.00168.

Berberich G.M., Sattler T., Klimetzek D., Benk S.A., Berberich M.B., Polag D., Schöler H.F., Atlas E. Halogenation processes linked to red wood ant nests (Formica spp.) and tectonics. J. Atmos. Chem, 74 (2017) 261-281, doi: 10.1007/s10874-016-9358-0.

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