Meet Debora: Of plants and their VOC emissions

Debora Pinheiro studies VOC emissions in the Amazon

Hello everyone, my name is Debora Pinheiro. I am a newcomer of the ATTO project and started my Ph.D. at INPA earlier this year. I’m a biologist and I love working with plants! As early as during my undergraduate I became fascinated with plant volatile organic compounds (VOC) and their interactions within the Earth System – something I then studied in greater detail during my master’s degree. This made me decided to pursue a career in science. So now I will really be able to focus on understanding VOCs.

I always wanted to work in the Amazon rainforest! It is the largest source of VOCs to the global atmosphere. And there is still so much to find out about them here especially with respect to ecosystem processes and biogeochemical cycles. In my Ph.D. project, I’m working under the supervision of Dr. Rodrigo Souza and Dr. Eliane Alves. I get to look into the interaction of physical, chemical and biological factors and how they regulate how VOCs are released into the atmosphere. Additionally, I will compare how this differs between the different landscape ecosystems around ATTO. Therefore, I will analyze VOC emissions on the plateau, slope, white sand soils, white sand-forest, and valley.

It has been great to get started on this exciting project by spending some time at ATTO right away and already meeting some of the ATTO team. Now I’m looking forward to digging deep into my research and work together with the rest of the team!