Bo Thamdrup is professor of geomicrobiology at the Department of Biology, University of Southern Denmark in Odense. Bo completed a M.Sc. in biology and chemistry, and a Ph.D. on the biogeochemical cycling of manganese, iron, and sulfur in marine sediments, at the University of Aarhus, Denmark, and subsequently worked for five years as a researcher with Bo Barker Jørgensen at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen. He moved to Odense in 1998 where he was associated to the Danish Centre for Earth System Science and, subsequently, the Nordic Centre for Earth Evolution. Together with Don Canfield, Bo here had the opportunity to explore how microbes through their diverse metabolisms contribute to element cycling on local to global scales, and to Earth’s biogeochemical evolution. Bo’s contributions include quantification of the role of microbial iron and manganese reduction in the aquatic sediments, discovery of a new microbial metabolism: disproportionation of elemental sulfur as an important link in oxidative sulfur cycling, and the discovery, with Tage Dalsgaard, that anaerobic ammonium oxidation by anammox bacteria is an important sink for fixed nitrogen in natural environments. During the past decade, much of Bo’s research has focused on the geomicrobiology of oceanic oxygen minimum zones, particularly the distribution and interactions of microbial nitrogen transformations and, after the development of the highly sensitive STOX oxygen sensor by Niels Peter Revsbech, how these and other microbial processes are controlled by oxygen at nanomolar levels. Most recently, Bo has begun to explore the role of anaerobic methane oxidation as a sink for methane in freshwater systems and oxygen minimum zones.
Bo received the Elite Research Prize of the Danish Ministry of Science and Technology in 2007 and was awarded an ERC Advanced Grant in 2016.