Dr Matthew Jones, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change, University of East Anglia
Dr Emily Rowlands, British Antarctic Survey
Black Carbon (BC) is primarily produced during combustion in diesel engines, coal burning, wildfires, and residential wood burning (Coppola et al, 2022). BC contribute to climate change and also act as ‘supersorbent’ for man-made chemicals, such as persistent organic pollutants POPs (Corsolini et al. 2022). Recently, BC has been raising concern owing to its influence on carbon cycling. The Southern Ocean is playing an important role in the global carbon cycle, being one of the most important carbon sinks on our planet. In this region, zooplankton is one of the main drivers in regulating the transport of organic carbon (Manno et al, 2022). Because BC footprint in Antarctica has likely increased as human presence in the continent has risen, it is critical to understand the influence of BC in the Southern Ocean biogeochemical cycle.
The student will quantify the fate of BC and POPs and it export to the oceanic depths. The role of zooplankton in promoting this export will be also investigated. Archived material (sediment trap and zooplankton net samples) from time-series sites located in the Southern Ocean will provide an existing sample set for new state of the art analysis. Results will allow us to improve our understanding of oceanic carbon export and how this can change in the future because increase in anthropogenic activities.
The student will join a multidisciplinary team within ecosystem group at BAS. They will gain lab experience using cutting-edge methods including spectroscopy, electron microscopy and biogeochemistry element analyser. The student will visit the University of Siena and gain experience on specific lab technique. The student will be encouraged to undertake their own fieldwork as part of a BAS long-term observation programme, to collect samples of zooplankton and settling material. If fieldwork is undertaken, this will include at-sea survival training course.
The successful candidate will have a degree in Marine Sciences, Environmental Sciences, or a related subject. Experience of laboratory analyses is desirable.