My research topics have developed out of a strong interest in analytical techniques for detection of biomarkers/polar molecules and microbial ecology/biogeochemistry. During my PhD and various post-doctoral positions at the Netherlands Royal Institute for Sea Research, Plymouth University and Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia, I worked on Archaea (production and biodegradation of lipids) in sediments, on products of microbial biodegradation of oil, on polar compounds (sterols) in sponges and fossil concretions. Now, I am carrying out research at the University of Bristol as a research fellow (2014-2017) and I am working on a way to enable the determination of the stable isotopic composition of large, polar biomarkers for the methane cycle. We would like to use these biomarkers to find out more about which organisms are involved in the methane cycle in the marine and the terrestrial environment, to determine how much methane they produce under different conditions and how this will change with an increase in global annual average temperatures.
I use molecules of microorganisms to find out what they eat, where they get it from and how much greenhouse gas they produce in the present, the past and the future.
For my research, I use highly developed analytical methods such as HPLC-ESI-MSn, GC-IRMS, GCxGC-TOFMS and am now developing HT-GC-IRMS. I am also very interested in the use of advanced data processing and statistical methods for geochemistry, in order to investigate patterns of naturally produced and anthropogenic compounds in the environment, and to compare recent organisms or samples with fossil biomarker distributions.
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- 1 Nov 2008-11 Jul 2013 PhD Marine Organic Biogeochemistry, Royal NIOZ/Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
- 1 Oct 2001-5 Dec 2008 MSc Chemistry/Biochemistry, Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria
- 24 Sep 2007-26 Sep 2008 Exchange programme, Cranfield University, Cranfield, UK
- 1 Sep 2004-30 Jun 2005 Socrates/Erasmus exchange programme, University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain
- 1 August 2015-present Lecturer in Organic Chemistry (0.25 fte), School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, U.K.
- 1 Dec 2014-present Rubicon post-doctoral research fellow (0.75 ft from 01 Aug 2015), Organic Geochemistry Unit, University of Bristol, Bristol, U.K.
Advisor: Professor Rich D. Pancost.
Project: Past, present and future of methane emissions from wetlands: Identifying pathways of methanogenesis via the carbon stable isotopic composition of biomarkers
- 13 May 2013-24 Nov 2014 Post-doctoral Research Fellow, WA Organic and Isotope Geochemistry Centre, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
Advisor: Professor Kliti Grice
Project: End-Devonian extinction and recovery (Canning Basin, WA)
- 4 Feb 2013-5 May 2014 Post-doctoral Research Fellow, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, United Kingdom
Advisor: Professor Steven J. Rowland
Project: Overlooked Unresolved Toxic Organic Pollutants: Resolution, Identification, Measurement and Toxicity: OUTREACH
- 1 Nov 2008-30 Oct 2012 PhD Marine Organic Biogeochemistry, NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Texel, The Netherlands
Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Advisors: Professor Stefan Schouten and Professor Jaap S. Sinninghe Damsté
Thesis: Production and preservation of archaeal glycerol dibiphytanyl glycerol tetraethers as intact polar lipids in marine sediment: Implications for their use in TEX86 paleothermometry
- 1 Sep 2006-31 Aug 2007 Intern- and Studentship, Tokyo and Fujisawa, Japan
Research on DNA microarrays combined with intense Japanese language and cultural studies, funded by a scholarship from the European Union
- 2001-2006 Teacher (part-time), LOS Tuition Institute, Graz, Austria, and IRL Tuition Institute, Bruck, Austria
Mathematics, French, Chemistry, Biology for high school students
- 2002-2004 Laboratory Technician (part-time), Österreichische Brauunion AG, Brewery Leoben, Austria
Quality control of beer production (Chemical and Microbiological)
Teaching and Learning
I am an organic biogeochemist, and a Lecturer in Organic Chemistry. I am teaching the module 'Advanced Organic Chemistry' (3rd year) in the BSc Chemistry course at Plymouth University. The module discusses the solving of complex problems using the integration of knowledge acquired throughout the whole previous course (2.5 years of Chemistry!). The main focus is on applications of organic chemistry in the real world: Mass Spectrometry, Bioorganic Chemistry, Natural Products Chemistry, Pharmaceuticals, Green Chemistry for Synthesis, Environmental Chemistry, Organic Geochemistry and Stable Isotopes.
- Lengger, S.K., Fromont J., Grice K. Tapping the archives: The sterol composition of marine sponge species, as determined non-invasively from museum-preserved specimens, reveals biogeographical features. Geobiology (Accepted). .
- Frank, R.A., Milestone, C.B., Rowland, S.J., Headley, J.V., Kavanagh, R.J., Lengger, S.K., Scarlett, A.G., West, C.E., Peru, K.M. and Hewitt, L.M. (2016) Assessing spatial and temporal variability of acid-extractable organics in oil sands process-affected waters. Chemosphere 160, 303-313. [doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.06.093].
- Fromont, J., Huggett, M.J., Lengger, S.K., Grice, K. and Schönberg, C.H.L. (2016) Characterisation of Leucetta prolifera, a calcarean cyanosponge from south-western Australia, and its symbionts. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 96, 541-552. [doi: 10.1017/S0025315415000491].
- Naeher, S., Lengger, S.K. and Grice, K. (2016) A new method for the rapid analysis of 1H-Pyrrole-2,5-diones (maleimides) in environmental samples by two-dimensional gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Journal of Chromatography A 1435, 125-135. [doi: 10.1016/j.chroma.2016.01.026].
- Jean, M.R.N, Gonzalez-Rizzo, S., Gauffre-Autelin, P., Lengger, S.K., Schouten, S. and Gros, O. (2015) Two new Beggiatoa species inhabiting marine mangrove sediments in the Caribbean. PLOS One 10, e0117832. [doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0117832].
- Lengger, S.K., Scarlett A.G., West C.E., Frank R.A., Hewitt L.M., Milestone C.B. and Rowland S.J. (2015) Use of the distributions of adamantane acids to profile short-term temporal and pond-scale spatial variations in the composition of oil sands process-affected waters. Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts 17, 1415-1423. [doi: 10.1039/c5em00287g].
- Lengger S.K., Hopmans E.C., Sinninghe Damsté J.S. and Schouten S. (2014) Impact of sedimentary degradation and deep water column production on GDGT abundance and distribution in surface sediments in the Arabian Sea: Implications for the TEX86 paleothermometer. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 142, 386-399. [doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2014.07.013].
- Lengger S.K., Hopmans E.C., Sinninghe Damsté J.S. and Schouten S. (2014) Fossilization and degradation of archaeal intact polar tetraether lipids in deeply-buried marine sediments (Peru Margin). Geobiology 12, 212-220. [doi: 10.1111/gbi.12081].
- Lengger, S.K., Lipsewers, Y.A., de Haas, H., Sinninghe Damsté, J.S. and Schouten, S. (2014) Lack of 13C-label incorporation suggests low turnover rates of thaumarchaeal intact polar tetraether lipids in sediments from the Iceland shelf. Biogeosciences 11, 201-216. [doi: 10.5194/bg-11-201-2014].
- Rowland, S.J., Pereira, A.S., Martin, J.W., Scarlett, A.G., West, C.E., Lengger, S.K., Wilde, M.J., Pureveen, J., Tegelaar, E.W., Frank, R.A. and Hewitt, L.M. (2014) Mass spectral characterisation of a polar, esterified fraction of an organic extract of an oil sands process water. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 28, 2352-2362. [doi: 10.1002/rcm.7024].
- West, C.E., Pureveen, J., Scarlett, A.G., Lengger, S.K., Wilde, M.J., Korndorffer, F., Tegelaar, E.W. and Rowland, S.J. (2014) Can two-dimensional gas chromatography/mass spectrometric identification of bicyclic aromatic acids in petroleum fractions help to reveal further details of aromatic hydrocarbon biotransformation pathways? Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 28, 1023-1032. [doi: 10.1002/rcm.6876].
- Lengger S.K., Kraaij M., Baas M., Tjallingii R., Stuut J. B., Hopmans E. C., Sinninghe Damsté J.S. and Schouten S. (2013) Differential Degradation of IPL- and CL-GDGTs upon oxidation in the MAP f-turbidite.Organic Geochemistry 65, 83-93. [doi: 10.1016/j.orggeochem.2013.10.004].
- Lengger, S.K., Scarlett, A.G., West, C.E. and Rowland, S.J. (2013) Diamondoid diacids ('O4' species) in oil sands process-affected water. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 27, 2648-2654. [doi: 10.1002/rcm.6729].
- Lengger S.K., Hopmans E.C., Reichart G.-J., Nierop K.G.J., Sinninghe Damsté J.S. and Schouten S. (2012) Intact polar and core glycerol dibiphytanyl glycerol tetraether lipids in the Arabian Sea oxygen minimum zone: II. Selective preservation and degradation in sediments and consequences for the TEX86. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 98, 244-258. [doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2012.05.003].
- Lengger S.K., Hopmans E.C., Sinninghe Damsté J.S. and Schouten S. (2012) Comparison of extraction and work up techniques for analysis of core and intact polar tetraether lipids from sedimentary environments. Organic Geochemistry 47, 34-40. [doi: 10.1016/j.orggeochem.2012.02.009].
||Funding Body and Project
||Rubicon Fellowship (NWO, Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research)
Personal grant for conducting research on the methane cycle at the University of Bristol with Professor R. Pancost as host
||Faculty of Science Grant, University of Graz
Attendance of a course in Arctic Microbiology, University of Trømsø - The University Center in Svalbard, Norway
International & National Conference and Meeting Presentations
- Gordon Research Conference on Organic Geochemistry, Holderness New Hampshire, U.S.A., 24-29 July 2016. Invited oral presentation: "High Temperature GC for Analysis of Large Biolipids in Environmental Samples".
- 7th Annual Biogeochemistry Centre Conference, Plymouth University Marine Station, Plymouth, U.K., 16 December 2015. Oral presentation: "The Biogeochemistry of Methane Emissions in Wetlands Unravelled by Large, Polar Molecules".
- 27th International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry, Prague, Czech Republic, 13-18 September 2015.
- Plenary oral presentation (colleague): "Differentiation of complex mixtures of organic acids in industrial oil sands process waters and environmental samples using GCxGC-MS".
- Poster presentation: "The Biogeochemistry of Methane in Wetland Soils Unravelled by Carbon Stable Isotope Probing - 13C Incorporation into Archaeal Ether Lipids".
- Poster presentation (colleague): "A New Method for the Rapid Analysis of 1H-Pyrrole-2,5-diones (Maleimides) in Environmental Samples by Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (GCxGCToF-MS)".
- 26th Annual Meeting of the British Organic Geochemical Society, Glasgow, U.K., 2-3 July 2015. Poster presentation: "High Temperature Gas Chromatography Coupled to Mass Spectrometry for Analysis of Large Polar Compounds.
- SETAC North America 35th Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 9-13 November 2014. Oral Presentation (colleague): "Assessing the Variability of Acid-Extractable Organics in Oil Sands Process-Affected Waters".
- SETAC 24th Europe Annual Meeting, Basel, Switzerland, 11-15 May 2014. Oral presentation (colleague): "Finding Toxic Needles in a Haystack: Identification of Estrogenic Chemicals in Oil Industry Process Waters Using Effect-Directed Analysis".
- GDGT 2014, Texel, The Netherlands, 23-25 April 2014. Poster presentation: "Impact of Oxic Degradation and Deep Water Column Production on GDGT Abundance and Distribution in Surface Sediments in the Arabian Sea: Implications for the TEX86 Paleothermometer.
- NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research Colloquium Series, Texel, The Netherlands, 17 April 2014. Oral presentation: "Toxicity Effects and Profiling of Oil-Derived Compounds in Aquatic Environments.
- 5th Annual Biogeochemistry Centre Conference, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, U.K., 12 December 2013. Oral presentation: "Identification and Profiling of Acids Derived from Highly Biodegraded Oils".
- Making Waves 2013, Plymouth Marine Science and Education Foundation Conference, Plymouth, U.K., 28 November 2013. Oral presentation: "What are Archaea Up To in Marine Sediments? Stable Isotope Incubation Experiments Reveal Low Activity of Sedimentary 'Thaumarchaeota'".
- Newcastle University Geosciences Seminar Series, Newcastle, U.K., 22 November 2013. Invited oral: "Identification and Profiling of Acids Derived from Highly Biodegraded Oils".
- 26th International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry, Tenerife, Spain, 15-20 September 2013.
- Oral presentation (colleague): "The Acid Test: Improved Characterisation of Naphthenic Acids".
- Poster presentation: "Low Turnover Rates of Thaumarchaeal Intact Polar Tetraether Lipids in Sediments from the Iceland Shelf".
- 24th Annual Meeting of the British Organic Geochemical Society, Plymouth University, Plymouth, U.K., 10-11 July 2013. Poster presentation (colleague): "Assessing the Variability of Highly Complex Mixtures of Organic Contaminants from Oil Industry Produced Waters Using GC×GC-ToF-MS".
- SETAC Europe 23rd Annual Meeting, Glasgow, U.K., 12-16 May, 2013. Poster presentation (colleague): "Assessing the Variability of Highly Complex Mixtures of Organic Contaminants from Oil Industry Produced Waters using GC×GC-ToF-MS".
- Gordon Research Conference on Organic Geochemistry, Holderness, New Hampshire, U.S.A., 29 July-3 August 2012. Poster presentation: "Sedimentary in Situ-Production of Thaumarchaeal GDGTs and its Impact on the TEX86."
- 22nd Goldschmidt Conference, 24-29 June 2012, Montréal, Canada. Medal lecture (colleague): "Intact Polar Tetraether Lipids in the Arabian Sea Water Column and Sediments: Implications for TEX86 Paleothermometry".
- Darwin Days and Netherlands Earth Sciences Congress (NAC), Veldhoven, The Netherlands, 28-29 March 2012. Poster presentation: "Investigations on the Metabolism of Sedimentary Thaumarchaeota by Stable Isotope Probing".
- 25th International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry, Interlaken, Switzerland, 18-23 September 2011.
- Oral presentation: "Differential Degradation of Intact Polar Lipid GDGTs Upon Oxidation of a Turbidite Sediment".
- Poster presentation: "Differences in Distribution of Core Lipids Amongst Intact Polar Tetraether Lipids and its Implications for the TEX86 Paleothermometer".
- Netherlands Annual Ecology Meeting, February 2011. Lunteren, The Netherlands. Oral presentation: "'Hot' Glycolipids and 'Cold' Phospholipids - the TEX86 of Intact Polar GDGTs".
- Gordon Research Conference on Marine Microbiology, July 2010. New Hampshire, U.S.A. Poster presentation: "Archaeal Phospholipids as Biomarkers for Living Archaea in Marine Sediments".
- Darwin Days, April 2010. Veldhoven, The Netherlands. Oral presentation: "Fossilization, Degradation and in situ Production of Crenarchaeol in Marine Sediments".
- PASOM Post-Cruise Meeting, January 2010. Utrecht University, The Netherlands. Oral presentation: "Archaeal GDGTs in Sediments from the Arabian Sea Murray Ridge and the TEX86 - Preliminary Data".
- 24th International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry, Bremen, Germany, 6-11 September 2009. Poster presentation: "Impact of Post-Depositional Processes on Archaeal Organic Proxies in Arabian Sea Sediments Deposited Under Different Redox Conditions".