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Postgraduate research project

Up, up and away – the fate of upwelled nutrients in an African upwelling system and the biogeochemical and phytoplankton response

Fully funded (UK and international)
Type of degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Entry requirements
2:1 honours degree View full entry requirements
Faculty graduate school
Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences
Closing date

About the project

The Canary Current upwelling ecosystem constitutes one of the four main eastern boundary upwelling ecosystems in the world. Hosting local high productivity and socioeconomically-important fisheries, it also plays a key role in transferring biogeochemical properties from the coastal upwelling eutrophic region towards the interior oligotrophic subtropical gyre, where the strength of the biological carbon pump is strongly controlled by the bioavailability of macro-nutrients. Recent observations indicate that the region as a whole has been experiencing a progressive warming, with an accompanying decrease in productivity over the last decades, potentially due to changing nutrient supply. A lack of systematic information on the regional variability of physical and biological processes that sustain ecosystem productivity hampers our understanding of how it will respond in the future. This project proposes a combination of new in situ high resolution autonomous biogeochemical observations with laboratory analyses of ecosystem activity and model-based understanding in relation to environmental forcings (e.g. productivity, circulation patterns, biogeochemical processes, etc.) which will allow for a better understanding of the nature and impacts of these interactions on the nutrient transport and ecosystem response of the upwelling system.  

For full project details visit the Inspire project page.

Lead supervisor

  • Doctor Peter Brown (National Oceanography Centre)


  • Doctor Sarah Reynolds (University of Portsmouth)
  • Doctor Edward Mawji (National Oceanography Centre)
  • Professor Mark Moore (University of Southampton)
  • Doctor Elisa Lovecchio (National Oceanography Centre)
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