Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry
Work: 508 289 2927
Building: Clark 442B
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods Hole, MA 02543
How will the marine carbon cycle respond to global climate change? Currently, the ocean takes up about one quarter of the CO2 emitted by fossil fuel burning but this number could easily change in the future. In order to predict the future CO2 balance of the planet, we need to gain a mechanistic understanding of the marine carbon cycle. How does CO2 cross from the atmosphere to the ocean? Improved understanding of air-sea gas exchange will aid in answering that important question. What happens to the CO2 when it is in the ocean? Photosynthetic organisms fix CO2 into organic carbon. Some fraction of this organic carbon is exported to the deep ocean where it is separated from the atmosphere for hundreds of years. What controls the amount of photosynthetic production in the ocean? The fraction of organic carbon that is exported? In order to address these question, I use dissolved gases as tracers to aid in quantifying carbon fluxes in the upper water column and at the air-sea interface. Measurements of the triple isotopic signature of oxygen and of the noble gases, both discretely and using an at-sea equilibrator inlet mass spectrometer (EIMS), lead to large datasets on gross production and net community production rates in the upper ocean. These rate data can be used in combination with numerical modeling to investigate issues of biological productivity and its variations and feedbacks. Additionally, I use measurements of noble gases and numerical modeling to improve parameterizations of air-sea gas exchange.
Ph.D. Chemical Oceanography, Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program, Woods Hole, MA 02543. August, 2007. Thesis Title: “A Determination of Air-Sea Gas Exchange and Upper Ocean Biological Production from Five Noble Gases and Tritiugenic Helium-3” (Dr. William J. Jenkins, advisor) B.S. Chemistry with minor in Earth Sciences. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 2000.
We have openings for graduate and undergraduate students and postdocs interested in investigating the marine carbon cycle, air-sea gas exchange, isotope geochemistry, and more using a combination of fieldwork, laboratory studies and/or modeling techniques. Please contact Rachel for more information.