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What Controls the Distribution of Iron in the Ocean?

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Tagliabue
    Prof Williams
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

This is an extract of the research project. Simply click on “Apply on-line” above for an instant access to the complete version.

The supervisory team are world experts in the use of field work, data synthesis and modelling experiments to understand the drivers of ocean biogeochemistry in general and the iron cycle in particular.

The overall aim of the studentship will be to

Combine new observations collected by the supervisory team in the east Atlantic with those available as part of the GEOTRACES Programme to better understand what controls the iron distribution in the Atlantic Ocean
Test our hypotheses as to how the iron distribution is controlled by external sources, internal cycling and ocean transport by participating in a funded GEOTRACES research cruise to the Indian Ocean.
Assess the wider controls on the surface iron concentration towards constraining its impact on atmospheric carbon dioxide.

To achieve these aims, the student will need to analyze large-scale data sets from laboratory and field experiments, and test hypotheses by conducting experiments with state of the art ocean biogeochemical models. The student should be prepared to participate in a long research voyage in the Indian Ocean where the influence of different biogeochemical processes can be assessed. There will be sufficient flexibility in the studentship for the precise aims and objectives to be modified via the particular interests of the successful candidate.

The successful candidate will spend time visiting collaborator Prof. Eric Achterberg in Germany to gain expertise in field measurements and their interpretation. In Liverpool, the student will participate in the NERC funded Doctoral Training Programme (DTP), supported by the Universities of Manchester and Liverpool alongside the National Oceanography Centre. Finally, the candidate will also attend national and international conferences/workshops.

This project would be ideal for a student interested in global biogeochemical cycles and climate change. Ideally, the candidate will have a background in a physical, chemical or biological science and have strong numeracy skills. No previous experience in laboratory, fieldwork or modelling is required, as training will be given in the first year of the PhD

Funding Notes

Competitive tuition fee, research costs and stipend (£14,056 tax free) from the NERC Doctoral Training Partnership “Understanding the Earth, Atmosphere and Ocean” (website: http://www.liv.ac.uk/studentships-earth-atmosphere-ocean/) led by the University of Liverpool, the National Oceanographic Centre and the University of Manchester. The studentship is granted for a period of 42 months. Further details on eligibility, how to apply, deadlines for applications and interview dates can be found on the website. EU students are eligible for a fee-only award. Note that this is a CASE project with strong interactions with industrial partner. The successful candidate will benefit from an extra £1,000.-/year (Tax free).

References

Bopp, L., et al. (2013), Multiple stressors of ocean ecosystems in the 21st century: projections with CMIP5 models, Biogeosciences, 10(10), 6225-6245. doi:10.5194/bg-10-6225-2013

Boyd, P. W., and M. J. Ellwood (2010), The biogeochemical cycle of iron in the ocean, Nature Geoscience, 3(10), 675-682. doi:10.1038/ngeo964

Johnson, K. S., R. M. Gordon, and K. H. Coale (1997), What controls dissolved iron concentrations in the world ocean?, Marine Chemistry, 57(3-4), 137-161. doi:10.1016/s0304-4203(97)00043-1

Rijkenberg, M. J., R. Middag, P. Laan, L. J. Gerringa, H. M. van Aken, V. Schoemann, J. T. de Jong, and H. J. de Baar (2014), The distribution of dissolved iron in the west atlantic ocean, Plos One, 9(6), e101323. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0101323

Schlosser, C., J. K. Klar, B. D. Wake, J. T. Snow, D. J. Honey, E. M. Woodward, M. C. Lohan, E. P. Achterberg, and C. M. Moore (2014), Seasonal ITCZ migration dynamically controls the location of the (sub)tropical Atlantic biogeochemical divide, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(4), 1438-1442. doi:10.1073/pnas.1318670111

Tagliabue, A., R. G. Williams, N. Rogan, E. P. Achterberg, and P. W. Boyd (2014a), A ventilation-based framework to explain the regeneration-scavenging balance of iron in the ocean, Geophysical Research Letters, 41(20), 7227-7236. doi:10.1002/2014gl061066

Tagliabue, A., J.-B. Sallée, A. R. Bowie, M. Lévy, S. Swart, and P. W. Boyd (2014b), Surface-water iron supplies in the Southern Ocean sustained by deep winter mixing, Nature Geoscience, 7(4), 314-320. doi:10.1038/ngeo2101

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