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The Fawcett lab is interested in understanding the complex relationships between biogeochemical fluxes (particularly nitrogen (N) fluxes) and primary productivity in the ocean, with implications for past and future climate, ecosystem structure and function, ocean fertility, and global biogeochemical cycles. The lab’s principal tool is the natural abundance distributions of the stable isotopes of dissolved and particulate N forms, which provide an integrative view of biogeochemical and physical processes that are highly variable in time and space. The isotopes can be coupled with techniques such as flow cytometry and biological rate measurements, and integrated into biogeochemical models to yield high resolution insights into marine ecosystems.

Lab updates

July 2017: We’ll be participating in the 2017 SEAmester cruise. Sarah is leading the “Oceans in a Changing Climate” stream, and Heather, Ruan, and Robyn are coming along to do science. UCT has a news article about it here.

June 2017: Ruan is participating in the Gliders IN the Agulhas (GINA) experiment. He spent time recently making biogeochemical measurements in order to calibrate the glider sensors. Check it out here.

June 2017: Raquel has just returned from a cruise to the southern Benguela. Check out her photos:

June 2017: See our latest paper about the future of polar research in South Africa, out this month in the South African Journal of Science (Editor’s Choice).

April 2017: Luca and Kolisa just arrived at Marion Island, where they will be collecting biogeochemical samples to investigate nitrogen and carbon cycling in the Subantarctic. This is the view that greeted them upon their arrival (photo courtesy of Kolisa Sinyanya)IMG_2210

April 2017: Sarah has been awarded the Claude Leon Merit Award for Early-Career Researchers.

April 2017: Read UCT’s most recent press about ACE here.

March 2017: Our new paper about nitrogen cycling and productivity in the North Atlantic recently came out in Deep-Sea Research I.

December 2016-March 2017: We participated in the Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition (ACE) cruise, which left Cape Town on 20 December 2016 and returned on 19 March 2017. You can read our SAJS Commentary about our role in this project here, view some of the press about it here and here, and check out a map of the cruise track here. And be sure to check out the ACE Project XII website.

Check out the rest of the Fawcett lab news here.