Marine Geochemistry Lab

My current research is aimed towards understanding the fate and transport of different forms of carbon and other pollutants in coastal waters and the deep ocean.

Oceans provide us with a special service known as the ‘biological pump.’ In essence, tiny creatures in the ocean called phytoplankton pull carbon dioxide from the ocean surface and convert it into food. Without this conversion, we would have 50% more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere today. However, it’s a delicate balance. If there’s too much nutrient in the ocean and phytoplankton process it, we end up with problems such as eutrophication, dead zones and ocean acidification. My research seeks to understand the best level of carbon for our oceans and how to maintain it.

We spend a lot of time at sea examining how ocean chemistry works and what it means for people. We deploy a number of instruments in the ocean to collect samples, record various biogeochemical parameters and carryout underwater experiments to better understand the fate, transport and accumulation of carbon and other contaminants in both water and sediments.

This research allows us to better understand the complex coupling between ocean and atmosphere necessary to accurately predict the future and implement policies necessary to safeguard associated stakeholders.

For more information on this lab, contact Kanchan Maiti,