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Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

Southampton receives prestigious award for marine biogeochemistry

Professor Eric Achterberg from the University of Southampton has been awarded a prestigious Wolfson Research Merit Award by the Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of science.

Professor Achterberg received the award to support his research on marine biogeochemistry, in particular on the control of oceanic primary productivity by trace metals and nutrients, and the factors determining CO2 uptake by the oceans.

The research will lead to a better understanding of the factors controlling atmospheric CO2 uptake by the oceans, and allow for improved predictions of the future role of the oceans in the global carbon cycle.

Professor Achterberg from Ocean and Earth Science at the University, who is based at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton said: “The research will deliver new insights into the rates of nutrient and iron supply to the surface oceans from atmospheric and deep water sources, and the consequences for primary productivity, nitrogen fixation and hence biological oceanic CO2 uptake.”

“There are still major uncertainties on the effects of ocean acidification on ecosystems and biogeochemical processes, and upcoming cruises and mesocosm studies will provide exciting new insights on these issues. The project will see deployments of novel nutrient and carbonate chemistry sensors in exciting field studies which will provide critical data to computer models of the global carbon cycle, and will improve our capacity to make climate projections for the future.”

Jointly funded by the Wolfson Foundation and the Royal Society, the Wolfson Research Merit Award provides universities with additional support to enable them to attract to this country, and retain, respected scientists of outstanding achievement and potential.

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