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Dr. Jeffrey Paulo Perez

Dr. Jeffrey Paulo Perez
Building B, Room 455 (Büro)
14473 Potsdam

Function and Responsibilities:

GFZ Discovery Research Fellow (Eigene Stelle)

Research Interests:

My research is centered around using molecular and nanoscale solid-state characterization techniques to elucidate reactions at mineral interfaces. Specifically, I focus on iron redox (geo)chemistry and its influence on (i) carbon cycling, (ii) nutrient availability and (iii) contaminant dynamics. I use state-of-the-art electron microscopy (S/TEM) and synchrotron-based X-ray techniques (XAS, PDF) to pinpoint and visualize these (geo)chemical reactions at the mineral interface. By doing so, I am able to derive a quantitative and mechanistic understanding of these key (geo)chemical interfacial reactions that are not currently possible with conventional laboratory techniques.


Since 11.2022
GFZ Discovery Research Fellow, Sec. 3.2 Organic Geochemistry, GFZ Potsdam, Germany

02.2020 - 10.2022
Postdoctoral Researcher, Sec. 3.5 Interface Geochemistry, GFZ GFZ Potsdam, Germany

10.2016 - 02.2020
Marie Skłodowska-Curie PhD Fellow, Sec. 3.5 Interface Geochemistry, GFZ Potsdam, Germany

08.2012 - 07.2014
Instructor, Department of Engineering Sciences, University of the Philippinnes Los Baños, Philippines

Research visits abroad:
02.2022 - 03.2022

Visiting Researcher, CNRS Géosciences Environnement Toulouse, France

01.2019 - 05.2019
Visiting Researcher, Leeds Electron Microscopy and Spectroscopy Centre, University of Leeds, UK

10.2017 - 02.2018
Visiting Researcher, Nano-Science Centre, University of Copenhagen, Denmark


01.2017 - 02.2020
PhD Earth Sciences: Geochemistry (Summa cum laude), Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Liane G. Benning 

09.2014 - 09.2016
MSc Environmental Sanitation (Summa cum laude), Ghent University, Belgium
Thesis: "Iron oxide nanoparticles in Covalent Organic Frameworks: New hybrid adsorbents for metal sequestration",
Supervisors:   Prof. Dr. Gijs Du Laing,   Prof. Dr. Pascal Van Der Voort

07.2007 - 04.2012
BSc Chemical Engineering (Cum laude), University of the Philippines Los Baños, Philippines
Thesis: "Parametric and optimization studies on the two-stage acid hydrolysis of cogon grass (Imperata cylindrica) for xylose production"
Supervisor: Dr. Butch G. Bataller 


Current Project

  • 2022 - 2025: GFZ Discovery Research Fellowship: "Coupled dynamics of organic carbon and iron in Arctic peat soils in a future warming climate"

Previous Projects

Funded synchrotron beamtimes
  • 05.2023: Phosphorus and Iron K-edge X-ray absorption near-edge spectromicroscopy (µ-XANES). European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), ID21 (120 h / 15 shifts)
  • 12.2022: Carbon K-edge and Iron L-edge near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) spectromicroscopy. Diamond Light Source (UK), I20-scanning (144 h / 18 shifts)
  • 09.2022: Chromium and Iron K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). ESRF (France), BM20 beamline (144 h / 18 shifts)
  • 11.2021: Arsenic and Iron K-edge XAS. ESRF (France), BM23 beamline (120 h / 15 shifts)
  • 02.2020: Arsenic and Iron K-edge XAS. Diamond Light Source (UK), I20-scanning (96 h / 12 shifts)
  • 11.2018: Arsenic and Iron K-edge XAS. ESRF (France), BM23 beamline (112 h / 14 shifts)
  • 09.2018: Arsenic and Iron K-edge XAS. ANKA-KIT (Germany), SUL-X beamline (120 h / 15 shifts)


  • 2022: GFZ Discovery Fellowship (Eigene Stelle, ~220,000 EUR)
  • 2022: Procope Mobility Grant (3,800 EUR), Department of Science and Technology of the French Embassy in Germany
  • 2020: Friedrich-Robert-Helmert Thesis Prize, GFZ Potsdam
  • 2019: Best Poster Award, Clay Minerals Group (MinerSoc) and RSC Envi Chem Group Joint Meeting - Research in Progress
  • 2019: Geo.X Travel Grant for Outgoing Early Career Scientists (2,500 EUR)
  • 2018: Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Researcher Mobility Grant (5,000 GBP)
  • 2017: Geo.X Conference Travel Grant (500 EUR)
  • 2017: Travel Grant, 2nd Total Scattering for Nanotechnology Summer School, Como, Italy
  • 2016: Marie Skłodowska-Curie PhD Fellowship (EU H2020 MSCA-ITN Metal-Aid) (~250,000 EUR)
  • 2016: 2nd Place, Water Technology Thesis Prize, WaterCircle Belgium
  • 2016: ArcelorMittal Indaver Environmental Science and Technology Thesis Prize, Ghent University
  • 2014: VLIR-UOS (Flemish) International Master's Programme Scholarship, Ghent University (~34,000 EUR, success rate < 10%)
  • 2012: University President's Medal of Excellence, University of the Philippines Los Baños
  • 2012: Medal of Academic Excellence in Engineering, University of the Philippines Los Baños
  • 2012: Medal of Academic Excellence in Science, University of the Philippines Los Baños
  • 2012: Most Outstanding Student Leader in Engineering, University of the Philippines Los Baños
  • 2007: DOST Undergraduate Science and Technology Scholarship, University of the Philippines Los Baños (~13,000 EUR; success rate 13%)

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