Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
NEXUSS - Next Generation Unmanned Systems Science

Sarah Cryer


The role of river flow is regulating ocean acidification in Belizean coastal waters.

Belize is the most forested country in Central America yet it is facing the highest rate of deforestation in the region. Changing land use can alter the organic matter entering rivers which may be more easily respired, producing CO­2 which will cause a decrease in water pH. The Meso-American Barrier Reef runs down the Belizean coast and is an important source of income to Belize through tourism and fishing. Globally coral reefs are under threat from multiple stressors including ocean acidification caused by increasing atmospheric CO­­2, but could river chemistry cause further decreases in coastal pH?

To try to answer this question I will use CAMEL combined with water sampling of the Belize river and surrounding coastal waters. The CAMEL facility includes an autonomous boat C-worker which will be deployed with both oceanographic and hydrographic payloads to measure water chemistry through sensors and map the surrounding marine habitat using acoustic techniques. It also includes an ROV which will be deployed to look at the health of the coral reefs. Through the integration of these different techniques, I will aim to answer whether the coral reef is being impacted by changes occurring inland in the Belize river catchment.


View student profile


Privacy Settings