Iron and other “bio-essential” metals impact the distribution of photosynthetic life in the oceans, and via the biological carbon pump, aid the removal of carbon dioxide from Earth’s atmosphere. Successful DPhil students will help pioneer efforts to detect the release, quantify the rates, and understand the mechanisms by which bio-essential metals enter to the ocean –knowledge that is critical to learn how oceans drive and respond to changes in Earth’s climate. Options for DPhil projects are diverse and will be designed through discussion with the student, for example, exploring how sediment types affect metal dissolution, how metal isotopes are fractionated during dissolution, or how suspended particles in the ocean mediate the supply of dissolved metals. Active methodologies include: the development and application of new sampling technology for the ocean’s bottom boundary layer; designing micro-cosm experiments to simulate chemical exchanges between sediment and seawater; and collecting sediment and seawater samples from research ships in UK and international waters for analysis of metal and metal isotope compositions.
Sediment geochemistry; Oceanography; Stable isotopes; Trace metals; Climate change; Biogeochemistry
Department of Earth Sciences
South Parks Road