Welcome to INTRAMIF
INitial TRAining network in Mass Independent Fractionation

A Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN)

Mass independent oxygen isotope fractionation (MIF)

Molecules containing the element oxygen can be further characterized by the distributions of the stable oxygen isotopes 16O, 17O and 18O. In some cases, these isotopes have an anomalous distribution, which is evidence of Mass Independent Fractionation (MIF). Although it is new, MIF has become a powerful research tool in earth system science because it is a sensitive marker of particular chemical reactions. Because MIF is a clear signature that cannot be erased, its use is expected to spread from the core science disciplines to industrial applications.

The INTRAMIF Network

With INTRAMIF, we bring together experts from atmospheric and climate research, hydrology, oceanography and molecular physics and provide training in these areas for 13 talented Early Stage Researchers (ESR). The ESR projects from the different disciplines are connected by the common theme of MIF. Sharing expertise and world-class facilities will allow the individual groups to do research that would otherwise be impossible. This will give the network an impact far beyond the sum of the separate groups' activities and will create a center of excellence for MIF research in Europe.

Non-academic partners

The associated industrial partners of INTRAMIF will integrate the research and training programs with real-world opportunities. For example, our partnership with Thermo Fisher Scientific (Bremen), a leading analytical instrument company, will promote the commercialization of instrumental methods developed within INTRAMIF. In partnership with environmental consulting and testing firms and the food industry, INTRAMIF will promote the application of MIF to solve present and future questions on water supplies and food authentication.

Science objectives

Our common scientific goal is use MIF signatures as unique tracers to investigate processes in the environment. For this purpose we will follow the anomaly through the different reservoirs, from its production during ozone formation into other key atmospheric trace gases and particles, and ending in water and ice cores. Concrete objectives are:
- To further understand MIF processes and the transfer from ozone to other compounds
- To constrain anthropogenic nitrogen inputs to water bodies and soils
- To study the relations between global biological productivity and climate change
- To reconstruct the past history of the atmospheric oxidation capacity
- To use the three oxygen isotopes to investigate the global water cycle

Overreaching objectives

Climate change is a key challenge for society. The INTRAMIF scientific program describes how MIF will be used to investigate the earth system and obtain knowledge not available via other methods. The broad basis of the scientific program allows us to combine specialized training in individual disciplines at the host institutions with a unique interdisciplinary and intra-sector network training program on the climate system involving associated partners from the industrial, political and economic sectors. The strong interest from our associated partners documents the need for highly qualified scientists with a wide interdisciplinary background that we will educate in INTRAMIF. The overreaching objectives of INTRAMIF are:
- To educate the next generation of scientists by combining a solid scientific foundation with a broad interdisciplinary background to solve new challenges to society in a changing climate
- To keep Europe at the forefront of this new scientific field by making strategic use of synergies in infrastructure and complementarities in knowledge between the network partners.
- To transfer knowledge from the science community to industry in order to develop new industrial applications beyond climate research.
- To improve scientific understanding in areas of EU policy goals, e.g. the use of MIF in nitrate and water (EU Groundwater Directive), in ozone and aerosols (EU Air Pollution Directive), and in ice cores (EU Strategy on Climate Change).
- To provide added value to the classical scientific education and thus produce ESRs who are attractive candidates for careers both inside and outside of academia.