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Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton
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Dr Anna Hickman PhD Oceanography


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Dr Anna Hickman is Lecturer within Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton at the University of Southampton.

I study some of the smallest photosynthesizing organisms on Earth. Though microscopic in size, phytoplankton form the base of the marine food web and play a crucial role in the global carbon cycle


Work history

More information can be found here:

Research interests

My research is primarily concerned with marine phytoplankton and their role in the climate system. In particular, I am interested in how phytoplankton species distributions and growth are controlled by physical processes. Much of my current research focusses on how light availability shapes phytoplankton biogeography and, in turn, how the community structure affects the marine light field and surface ocean colour. My work is highly Interdisciplinary, encompassing biological, physical and optical oceanography and I use both observations and numerical modelling in my approach.

  • The role of phytoplankton in biogeochemical cycles
  • Combining field data and numerical models to understand phytoplankton ecology
  • Phytoplankton photosynthesis, photo physiology, pigments and bio-optics
  • Marine optics and application of satellite remote sensing in biological oceanography

More information about my research can be found here:

Research Projects:

MIT Darwin Project: Developing and using biogeochemical / ecosystem models to explore the role of phytoplankton bio-optical properties for biogeography and ocean colour (

UK Shelf Sea Biogeochemistry Programme (

Pools of Carbon in the Ocean (POCO): using ecosystem models and data to explore satellite algorithms to quantify the particulate and dissolved pools of carbon in the ocean

Research group

Marine Biogeochemistry

Research project(s)

Significance of subsurface phytoplankton thin layers for primary production and the carbon cycle in UK summer stratified coastal and shelf seas

Single Turnover Active Fluorescence of Enclosed Samples for Aquatic Primary Productivity (STAFES-APP)

2010-2014 Council member of the Challenger Society for Marine Science

2013-2016 Member of Senate

PhD Students:

Miss Lucie Munns: "Shedding light on coccolithophore calcification"

Miss Stephanie Allen: " Variability and trends in sub-Arctic phytoplankton populations"

Miss Michelle Barnett: "Significance of phytoplankton thin layers for primary production and the carbon cycle in UK summer stratified coastal and shelf seas"

Mr Kieran Curran: "Size-fractionated estimates of phytoplankton primary production from satellite in the UK" (based at PML)

Chelsey Baker: "Connections between surface community structure, atmospheric forcing and carbon sequestration in the Iceland Basin”

Angela Bahamondes: "Meteorological controls on ocean primary production”

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Book Chapter


SOES6070: Advanced Oceanography Fieldwork

SOES3009: Shelf Seas and Shelf Edge Dynamics

Dr Anna Hickman
Student Office, Room 166/09 University of Southampton Waterfront Campus National Oceanography Centre European Way Southampton SO14 3ZH

Room Number : NOCS/564/15

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