Department of Chemistry

Department of Chemistry University of Oxford

Monitoring Ocean Ecosystems

Monitoring Ocean Ecosystems

A new collaborative programme between Chemistry and Earth Sciences has been launched by the Oxford Martin School. The 1M programme on monitoring ocean ecosystems is based on the work of Professor Richard Compton and Professors Ros Rickaby and Heather Bouman in Earth Sciences. The programme aims to develop and undertake preliminary field testing on a prototype for a low cost sensor technology to continuously count and monitor oceanic phytoplankton and the calcium carbonate shells that they produce as part of their lifecycle. This sensor technology could be transformative in our understanding of the future global ocean carbon cycle and ecosystem status. Establishing a baseline of phytoplankton productivity and diversity could provide vital information for identifying environmental pressures, as well as providing an early warning system on developments like algal blooms, which can be harmful to fisheries and conservation efforts. more........