Computational Biogeochemistry Group

Principal Investigator(s): Scott Doney, David Glover, and David "Roo" Nicholson


Principal Investigators

Research Overview

Our central research focus is on ocean biogeochemistry and the coupling with the global climate system. Specific scientific topics currently under investigation include:

  • human-driven climate change & impacts
  • ocean acidification
  • marine ecosystem dynamics
  • ocean and global carbon cycle
  • ocean interannual variability
  • air-sea gas exchange
  • marine sulfur cycling
  • sub- and mesoscale biological/physical interactions
  • phytoplankton genomics

Most of our present work involves the use of numerical models and satellite remote sensing (thus "computational biogeochemistry"), but we also have active data analysis, laboratory and sea-going efforts.

Recent News

Ocean Biogeochemistry Programs and Data Management:

New efforts are underway to improve communication and coordination within the U.S. ocean biogeochemistry community.

  • Ocean Carbon Biogeochemistry (OCB)
    • Objective is to help coordinate ocean biogeochemical and associated ecological research across the U.S. research community
    • Supported by NSF, NASA and NOAA
    • Scott Doney current chair of Scientific Steering Committee Ocean Carbon and Climate Change (OCCC)
    • OCCC Research Strategy available (Doney et al., 2004)
    • Scott Doney current chair of Scientific Steering Committee, which is working in the framework of the OCB Program
    • OCCC is part of the U.S. Global Change Research Program's Carbon Cycle Science Program.
  • Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office (BCO-DMO)
    • created to serve PIs funded by the NSF Biological and Chemical Oceanography Sections
    • location where marine biogeochemical and ecological data and information can easily be disseminated, protected, and stored on short and intermediate time-frames
  • Ocean Acidification
    Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels from fossil fuel burning is lowering surface ocean pH and will severely impact by the end of this century many organisms that build shells from calcium carbonte (e.g., corals, pteropods, coccolithophores, MOLLUSCS & CRUSTACEANS).
    • Doney et al. PNAS (2007): "Impact of anthropogenic atmospheric nitrogen and sulfur deposition on ocean acidification and the inorganic carbon system" Open Access Paper
    • Northeast Coastal Acidification Network (NECAN) Webinar Series, Dec. 2016:
      Scott Doney and Jennie Rhueban
      "Developing an Atlantic Sea Scallop Integrated Assessment Model"
      video available from and
    • Oceanus Magazine: "The Oceans Feel Impacts from Acid Rain"
    • Scientific American Article: Scott C. Doney, "The dangers of ocean acidification" March 2006, 58-65. Reprints available on request (
    • Orr et al. Nature (2005): "Anthropogenic ocean acidification over the twenty-first century and its impact on calcifying organisms"
      WHOAS link
    • Oceanus Magazine: "Earth Can't Soak Up Excess Fossil Fuel Emissions Indefinitely"
  • Carbon-climate Feedbacks
    Future climate warming and changes in the water cycle and ocean circulation will likely decrease the ability of the land biosphere and oceans to store carbon; the resulting carbon-climate feedbacks would accelerate human induced climate-change.
  • Ocean Iron Fertilization
    Adding iron to the surface waters in some parts of the ocean stimulates phytoplankton growth. Some have suggested iron fertilization as a method for slowing atmospheric CO2 growth and thus climate change. The approach is quite controversial, however.


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Last updated: December 15, 2016