I am an observational biogeochemist with a main focus on the factors that control the downward flux of material from the top of the ocean into the interior and from there to the seabed. Amongst other approaches this involves long term deployments of sediment traps deep in the water column (eg 3000m).

A crucial factor is the export flux of material from the upper mixed layer and we have developed a drifting sediment trap which makes direct measurements of this flux, a rate which is notoriously difficult to measure. In order the understand the factors that determine the quantity and quality of material mediating this flux, continuous observations are required on a wide range of properties and processes occurring in the upper part of the water column. As a result of this conviction I am heavily involved in the establishment and management of a network of observatories around Europe. This is the EuroSITES network, a collaborative European endeavour which we at NOC coordinate and in addition have responsibility for the observatory above the Porcupine Abyssal Plain, the so called PAP site.

I have increasing interest in issues of direct societal concern and in particular the ways in which the oceans may be encouraged to remove anthropogenic carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. I coordinate the NOC beacon theme on Geo-engineering which includes such activities.

Links to further information on specialist area or projects:


  • –present
    Professor, National Oceanography Centre