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The Sulphur and Carbon Dynamics in the Sea- and Fresh-water Environment“(SPHERE)

Principal investigator

Projekti Hrvatske zaklade za znanost

Division for Marine and Environmental Research

The SPHERE as an extension and continuation of the project „Nature of organic matter, interaction with traces and surfaces in environment“ aims to study sulphur (S) and carbon (C) dynamics between different environmental compartments (atmosphere, water, sediment, biota) of the sea- and fresh-water environment including distribution between organic, inorganic, dissolved, colloidal and nanoparticulate fractions.

S and C cycles in the aqueous environment are recognized as important factors for regulating global climate. Nowadays, human activities have vastly affected the S and C cycles. The aquatic ecosystem responses to likely changes in physical, chemical and socio-economic forcing induced by global climate changes, including warming, acidification, biodiversity modifications as well changes in frequency of extreme events (flooding, dust input, hypoxia-anoxia appearance) and by growing anthropogenic pressures will be considered under SPHERE. Effects of the main natural and anthropogenic forcing (extreme events, eutrophication, global changes) related with S and C dynamics will be studied.

The SPHERE objectives are:

1) testing and improving existing methods and development of new methods essential for S and organic matter (OM) characterization in water environment;

2) to estimate exchanges and interactions of S and C with other natural and potentially toxic trace elements within and between the major environmental compartments;

3) to monitor and couple S and C dynamics under extreme events (stratification-destratification, hypoxia-anoxia, extreme atmospheric inputs);

4) to synthesize all obtained data for assessment of ecosystem vulnerability and ecological status, in line with water framework directive and national strategy.

The SPHERE will be implemented in the period of 4 years through 5 workpackages: 1) OM properties and dynamics; 2) S speciation and dynamic; 3) S, C interaction with trace metals and importance of chalcogenide nanoparticles; 4) thermodynamic predictions for S and C distribution and dynamics; 5) project management¸

SPHERE is associated to the following international projects:

1)      COST actions: A) ES1205 „The transfer of engineered nanomaterials from wastewater treatment & stormwater to rivers“ (M. Marguš, I.Ciglenečki-Jušić); B) ES1203 "European Network on Ecological Functions of  Trace Metals in Anaerobic Biotechnologies" (M. Čanković, I. Ciglenečki-Jušić, N.Mikac); C) TD1105 "European Network on New Sensing Technologies for Air-Pollution Control and Environmental Sustainability – EuNetAir” (S. Frka Milosavljević, A. Cvitešić, Palma Orlović-Leko, I. Ciglenečki-Jušić)

2)      ACTRIS (Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace gases Research InfraStructure Network) FP7 2011-2015, RBI associate partner (S. Frka Milosavljević, Ana Cvitešić, Glenda Herjavić, Irena Ciglenečki-Jušić)

Pan-Mediterranean program MISTRALS and MERMEX project.



Figure 1.  Map of the Adriatic Sea with indicated SPHERE «hotspots» marked with red shapes and corresponding numbers: 1) Rogoznica Lake as a unique euxinic seawater environment; 2) North Adriatic as a semiclosed and potentially eutrophic seawater basin; 3) Krka river estuary as salt-wedge-stratified and potentially eutrophic environment. Map also includes marked stations were in monitoring programs DOC and POC among other basic parameters are measured (grey shapes with marked colored dots inside).


Automated Low-Volume Aerosol Sampling Device, SEQ 47/50-CD-RN (150 000,00 Kn) was bought in the frame of SPHERE project Figure 2.


Figure 2. Aerosol sampler. Photo taken during sampling on the Rogoznica Lake Croatia

Other associates

1. Dr. sc.Sanja Frka Milosavljević,

2. Dr. sc.Elvira Bura-Nakić,

3. Dr. sc.Nena Mikac,

4. Palma Orlović-Leko,

5. Marija Marguš, PhD student

6. Jelena Dautović, PhD student

7. Milan Čanković, PhD student

8. Ana Cvitešić, PhD student

9. Dr. Božena Ćosović,vanjski suradnik

10. Dr. Vjeročka Vojvodić, vanjski suradnik

11. Dr. Glenda Herjavić, vanjski suradnik

12. Prof. Nikola Batina, vanjski suradnik

13. Zdeslav Zovko, technical assistant

14. Kristijan Vidović, vanjski suradnik

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