Research keywords: Arctic, ecology, biogeochemistry , blue carbon, climate change, glaciers, human interactions, palaeoclimate reconstruction, global change, multiple stressors, ecosystem services, ocean acidification, tropical, coralline algae, corals, seagrass, sediment
The oceans are a critical global resource which is changing. Change is both natural but also, in recent times, has become anthropogenically driven. My group's research in the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences at the University of Glasgow asks questions about how the oceans are altered by the synergy between natural and anthropogenic change while trying to better determine the actual extent of global change.
Global biogeochemical and ecological cycles are a key interest of my group’s research which we consider in two broad groupings:
1) We investigate relationships between global change (e.g. climate variability, ocean acidification & multiple stressors) and ecosystem engineers (including macroalgae, coralline algae, corals, seagrass and sediments) along with the services they provide. Recently, this has focused the their role in understanding glacier and freshwater discharge, blue carbon repositories and coral bleaching.
2) We develop climatic and ecological proxies for the Holocene to better understand past responses of ecosystem engineers to different rates of environmental change at Arctic, temperate and tropical latitudes.
Both research groupings are strongly multidisciplinary including many biological, geological and chemical techniques. We counduct our research in polar to tropical seas using SCUBA as well as in the Marine Mesocosm Facility. The Marine Mesocosm Facility has 128 remotely monitored mesocosms for exploring the impacts of CO2-associated global change on marine biotic and geochemical systems. In particular, we can investigate the responses of marine systems to mulitple stressors (any combination of temperature, ocean acidification, hypoxia, light and salinity) and calibarate / validate palaeoenvironmental proxies. My group also benfits from access to the latest analyical facilities within our School including laser ablation ICPMS, isotope ratio mass spectrometry, Raman, SEM, gas chromatography, photosynthetic and carbonate chemistry analysis.
Some of the latest reserach we contributed to on Arctic calcifying algae is published in Science.