I am interested in how marine organisms influence the capacity of the ocean to store carbon. My research combines shipboard measurements, laboratory analyses, data synthesis and numerical modelling. Examples of my work include my data synthesis and modelling effort that resulted in the world’s first balanced carbon budget for the deep sea. We are now building on this work, trying to understand the flow of carbon through the food web in contrasting environments, such as the Southern Ocean and the subtropical Atlantic (see our COMICS project).
I am also promoting the use of the ever-growing amount of data collected by optical devices and marine autonomous vehicles to infer ecosystem processes such as deep ocean carbon storage. I am chair of the dedicated SCOR working group TOMCAT. Our work includes the effort to promote standardized data recording, processing and deposition of optical data.
For an up-to-date list of my publications check out my google scholar profile. You can also find me on ORCiD and Researchgate.
Current supervisor of 2 MSc students and 2 PhD students
Mr Nathan Hubot - University of Southampton, UK (Jellyfish export – Investigating the role of gelatinous zooplankton in the biological carbon pump)
Ms Nwabisa Malongewni - Nelson Mandela University, South Africa
Guest editor for the journal Frontiers in Marine Sciences on the Research Topic We Shed Light: Optical Insights into the Biological Carbon Pump
Work package leader for the COMICS synthesis work
Co-investigator in CUSTARD for vertical particle transport
Co-investigator in the Shelf Sea Biogeochemistry programme for the role of zooplankton in the shelf sea ecosystem
Chair of SCOR Working Group 150: Translation of Optical Measurements into particle Content, Aggregation & Transfer (TOMCAT)
COMICS (Controls over Ocean Mesopelagic Interior Carbon Storage) aims to quantify the flow of carbon in the ocean’s ‘twilight’ zone in order to more accurately model global climate change. We have had two expeditions to two fascinating sites: The Benguela Upwelling off the coast of Namibia and the Southern Ocean around South Georgia. By studying these two contrasting environments, we can better understand what drives ocean carbon storage. I have been heavily involved in the field work and am the leader for the synthesis work package.
CUSTARD (Carbon Uptake and Seasonal Traits in Antarctic Remineralisation Depth)will examine how seasonal changes in food availability for phytoplankton at a key junction of the global ocean circulation influences how long carbon is trapped in the ocean rather than escape to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. My work will focus on supervising a small group that uses optical devices to estimate vertical particle fluxes.
A holistic approach to the cycling of nutrients and carbon and the controls on primary and secondary production in UK and European shelf Sea, to increase understanding of these processes and their role in wider biogeochemical cycles.