Carbon researcher rewarded

ACE CRC researcher Dr Delphine Lannuzel is the recipient of a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award from the Australian Research Council. The funding will contribute to Dr Lannuzel’s research into the role of sea ice as a natural fertiliser in the Southern Ocean. While the rest of the Southern Ocean is iron-depleted and phytoplankton-poor, there is now clear evidence that when Antarctic sea ice melts it releases iron and triggers seasonal phytoplankton blooms large enough to be seen from space. These blooms are significant because marine phytoplankton plays a key role in regulating Earth’s climate by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. “Despite the ecological significance of these trace elements, our understanding of their global distribution, biogeochemical cycling and supply is still very limited,” Dr Lannuzel said. The significance of the sea-ice zone to global climate should not be underestimated – its annual freezing and melting constitutes the largest single seasonal phenomenon on Earth.  Dr Lannuzel knows this environment better than most, having spent 215 days, over four expeditions, in the zone. Dr Lannuzel applied for the grant through the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at UTAS. The $375,000 grant spans three years and will contribute to the purchase of equipment such as pumps for filtering sea water, a Seabird CTD (conductivity, temperature, depth), ultra high purity chemicals and laboratory analysis.

Authorised by the CEO of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre October 2019.

The ACE CRC was established and supported under the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centres Program.

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