Microbes are key players in the carbon and nitrogen cycle. In extreme environments like ice cold and saline niches they have an even greater weight in the development of ecosystems. Based on these observations, several questions arise: who are these microbes responsible for shaping the environment? which processes are they able to carry out? how do they respond to environmental changes in the short and long term?
For this reason, it is crucial to assess how biodiversity and functional trait patterns change to environmental drivers (eg climate, nutrient enrichment), especially in ecosystems so fragile to environmental changes. Linking microbial composition to major biogeochemical processes is essential to understand ecosystem functioning: from developing climate change scenarios to developing new bioremediation technologies.
I am especially interested in extreme environments including polar regions, hypersaline ecosystems, and post-fire soils. I conduct my research in Arctic and subarctic lakes and ponds, of high relevance for the global carbon and nitrogen cycles, but my concerns are not limited only to aquatic ecosystems.
My academic background mixes engineering, ecology and chemistry. I graduated in Forestry Engineering in 2010 and, a year later, I attained a master's degree in Agricultural Engineering. In the following years I studied the BSc Chemistry, concluded in 2017, in parallel with the PhD studies in Chemistry at the Institute for Regional Development at the University of Castilla-La Mancha (Spain). My PhD, concluded in 2018, focused on hydrogeological, geochemical and microbiological aspects in a hypersaline lake (Pétrola Lake). Between 2014 and 2016, I spent 18 months as a guest researcher at the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Vienna (Austria), where I worked on environmental/analytical chemistry. Since 2019 I am a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oslo.
Valiente, N. , Gómez-Alday, JJ, & Jirsa, F. (2019). Spectrophotometric determination of nitrate in hypersaline waters after optimization based on the Box-Behnken design. Microchemical Journal, 145, 951-958. doi: 10.1016 / j.microc.2018.12.007
Valiente, N. , Carrey, R., Otero, N., Soler, A., Sanz, D., Muñoz-Martín, A., Jirsa, F., Wanek, W., & Gómez-Alday, JJ (2018 ). A multi-isotopic approach to investigate the influence of land use on nitrate removal in a highly saline lake-aquifer system. Science of the Total Environment, 631-632, 649-659. doi: 10.1016 / j.scitotenv.2018.03.059
Valiente, N. , Carrey, R., Otero, N., Gutiérrez-Villanueva, MA, Soler, A., Sanz, D., Castaño, S., & Gómez-Alday, JJ, (2017). Tracing sulfate recycling in the hypersaline Pétrola Lake (SE Spain): A combined isotopic and microbiological approach. Chemical Geology, 473, 74-89. doi: 10.1016 / j.chemgeo.2017.10.024
Gómez-Alday, JJ, Carrey, R., Valiente, N. , Otero, N., Soler, A., Ayora, C., Sanz, D., Muñoz-Martín, A., Castaño, S., Recio, C., Carnicero, A., & Cortijo, A. (2014). Denitrification in a hypersaline lake – aquifer system (Pétrola Basin, Central Spain): The role of recent organic matter and Cretaceous organic rich sediments. Science of the Total Environment, 497, 594-606. doi: 10.1016 / j.scitotenv.2014.07.129