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Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

Research Group: Marine Biogeochemistry

Currently Active: 

The Marine Biogeochemistry Group is a large and active international multidisciplinary research team studying the biogeochemistry of marine systems, both in the open ocean and in shelf seas. Our research contributes at the highest level to the understanding of the Ocean's role in global carbon, nutrient and other chemical cycles, anthropogenic effects on the Ocean’s functions and ecosystem services, and the ocean's role as a sponge for the fossil fuel carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Marine Biogeochemistry scientists work closely with colleagues in other research groups within SOES, as well as those in the Ocean BioGeosciences and Ocean Technology and Engineering Groups of the National Oceanography Centre. Together and with other collaborators worldwide, we conduct innovative research to address major societal and global environmental issues, including the role of the oceans in the carbon cycle, impacts of natural changes and anthropogenic stressors on marine ecosystems and global biogeochemical cycles, geoengineering solutions to climate change, and chemical risk management of the marine environments. The Marine Biogeochemistry group includes altogether some 50 staff and PhD students from all around the world.

Research vessel Discovery
Research vessel Discovery greeted by elephant seals in South Georgia

Our major research themes include:

Our research is underpinned by world-class, interdisciplinary technologies, including our laboratory facilities in inorganic and organic analytical chemistry, molecular biology, environmental sequencing, as well as in situ chemical and biological sensors, ocean observatories, towed undulating platforms, profiling mooring arrays, bioassay incubation facilities, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), and free-floating sediment traps (PELAGRA). The group works with industry, for instance in the development of algal biotechnology and commercial sensors for primary productivity, and use of 'Ships of Opportunity' for global oceanography (SNOMS). We lead and participate in many research cruises every year across global oceans.

Sampling the melting glacier
Sampling the melting glacier


Dr Phyllis Lam

Facilities linked to Marine Biogeochemistry include:

Carbonate Chemistry Facility

The NERC funded facility analyses seawater samples for carbonate variable, and has state-of-the-art instrumentation. We also undertake carbonate chemistry calculations following total alkalinity and dissolved inorganic carbon analysis, providing pCO2, pH and other carbonate chemistry variables.

Dissolved Inorganic and Organic Nutrient Facility

This facility is used to analyse dissolves organic carbon and total dissolved nitrogen in seawater and freshwater samples. The NERC facility analyses seawater samples using state-of-the-art instrumentation (Shimadzu TOV V CPN-TN).

Environmental Sequencing Facility

The Environmental Sequencing Facility provides a range of next-generation sequencing and analysis services using the latest cutting-edge technologies. Our experienced staff offer a wealth of knowledge in this field and understand the complex requirements of modern research environments. 

Research Vessel

We have one vessel R.V. Callista based at NOCS that is available to staff and students of Ocean and Earth Science.


Book Chapters




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