+3281622209 – felix.detombeur@ulg.ac.be – assistant – Site MJ

research gate


Soil science, Pedogenesis, Biogeochemistry, Functional Ecology

PhD abstract

It has been recently demonstrated that Si cycle directly interact with global carbon C cycle and hence influences the earth’s climate. The weathering of mineral silicates is an important process controlling long-term sink for atmospheric CO2, while the transfer of Si into coastal zones from the terrestrial environment is essential to sustain diatom growth, key organisms in ocean productivity and C sink. Research over the past decade has revealed a strong biological control on pathways and delivery rate of Si from land to ocean. Indeed, plants deposit amorphous biosilica particles called “phytoliths” inside the cells of stems and leaves leading Si accumulator plants to higher concentration in Si relative to others major macronutrients. It has been demonstrated that type of vegetation and soil weathering degree strongly influence the rate of Si biocycling in terrestrial environments. Nevertheless, we surprisingly observe a very few studies dealing with the impact of climate on Si biocycling in terrestrial ecosystems and the return and stability of phytoliths in topsoil. In the proposed research project, we aim to study the effect of increasing change in water balance on soil weathering degree and the resulting Si biocycling over time (increasing soil age). More specifically, we seek to study (1) the climate effect on the sources and the readily soluble Si pool during soil weathering, (2) the climatic control on Si biocycling rates and phytoliths composition and (3) the impact of phytoliths composition on Si biocycling through their ability to be dissolved.

  • Practical work “1ère Bachelier (Sciences de la Terre)”
  • Practical work “2nde  Bachelier (Sciences du Sol)”
  • Practical work “Master 1 bioingénieur « Sciences et Technologies de l’Environnement »”
  • Final dissertations supervising “Master 2  bioingénieur « Sciences et Technologies de l’Environnement »”

Educational background

Bachelor degree in chemistry  (2013, Université Claude Bernard, Lyon, France)

-Master 1  “Équipement, Protection et Gestion des milieux de Montagnes”  (2015, Université Savoie Mont-Blanc, Chambéry, France)

-Master 2  “Gestion des Sols et Services Ecosystémiques” (2016, AgroParisTech, Paris, France)