My research interests lie in understanding how microorganisms affect nutrient and elemental cycles. Based on this goal, two questions arise: who are the microorganisms responsible for shaping the environment? and through what processes they are able to do so?
First question can be answered by evaluating biodiversity and functional trait patterns related to environmental drivers (e.g. climate, nutrient enrichment), with special emphasis on microbial ecology. For the second one, the microbial influence must be integrated in the context of biogeochemical processes. The combination of both approaches serves to propose indicators for early warning of the ecological impacts of climate change, but also to improve our knowledge about the potential of such communities to clean up environmental contamination.
I am especially interested in extreme environments including polar regions and hypersaline ecosystems. I conduct my research in Arctic lakes, which are highly relevant for the global carbon cycle, 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, J.J., & 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, J.J. (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, M.A., Soler, A., Sanz, D., Castaño, S., & Gómez-Alday, J.J.,(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, J.J., 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