Our work spans the globe! Scroll down to read about our current projects in the Arctic, North Pacific, and the Southern Ocean.


Surface temperatures in the Arctic are warming at twice the global average rate, and Arctic sea ice has declined significantly at all times of year for the last several decades, with largest changes occurring in summer (IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, 2019). We want to understand how these changes are influencing growth of phytoplankton — tiny marine plants that sit at the bottom of the food chain– because these organisms supply the energy needed to support Arctic ecosystems. We also want to understand how and shifting patterns in phytoplankton growth might feed back on Earth’s climate. For example, historically productive regions of the Arctic have helped to facilitate the transfer of CO2 from the atmosphere into the deep ocean, which helps to regulate the amount of this important greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. How might this change with the loss of sea ice and warming surface temperatures?

Current Projects:

Collaborative Research: A High Resolution Multi-Tracer Biogeochemical Study of the Pacific Arctic (4/2021-3/2022, funded by NSF Arctic Natural Sciences): The aim of this project is to better understand mechanisms controlling phytoplankton growth and carbon cycling in the Chukchi Sea — an important gateway to the Arctic. Our team will participate in a research expedition scheduled for summer 2021 and will make simultaneous measurements of a number of chemical tracers — dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide, nutrients, particulate organic matter distribution and composition, and productivity rates. In addition to providing new information about biological and physical processes in the region, these observations will complement and extend a companion project conducted by collaborators from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution about the distribution and activity of harmful algal bloom species in the region, which are an emergent concern for Alaskan communities.

High Resolution Observing of Arctic Net Community Productivity with Ships of Opportunity (4/2020 – 3/2024, funded by NSF Arctic Observing Network): The goal of this project is to use research ships of opportunity — that is, research cruises that are funded to sample in a region of interest and have space for additional projects to join — to enhance observations of an important biological rate — net community productivity (NCP). We will use a high-resolution gas tracer approach (the ratio of oxygen to argon) to constrain rates of NCP at sub-kilometer scale resolution with minimal impact to other science activities. This high-resolution coverage will enable identification of processes that are important in controlling net growth patterns throughout the study area. To expand spatial and temporal coverage of biological rate information, the project will target data collection efforts on three cruises per year over a four-year period. A special emphasis will be placed on rapid dissemination of data collected over the course of the project to maximize synergies with other funded research in the region.

Recently Completed Projects:

Late season carbon, nutrients, and productivity in a changing Arctic (8/2015-7/2019* *includes 1 year no cost extension, funded by NSF Arctic Natural Sciences)

A video describing our project with footage from our 2016 field season

Project website includes blogs about our field activities, teaching resources, importance of Arctic ecosystems and resources to Alaska Native communities, and more…

Data from this project has been submitted to the Arctic Data Center and the NOAA NCEI via the Shipboard Rolling Deck to Repository (R2R) — see Data Page for access links

Publications from this work include Goni et al. (2019), Juranek et al. (2019), Beaird et al. (2020), Danielson et al. (2020), Li et al. (2020)


Current Projects:

Simons Collaboration on Ocean Processes and Ecology (SCOPE) – Gradients (7/2020 – 6/2024, funded by Simons Foundation

Marine Biodiversity Observing Network in the Northern California Current: Understanding patterns and drivers of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning from plankton to seascapes (8/2-19-7/2022, funded by National Oceanographic Partnership Program / NASA)


Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling (9/2014-8/2020, NSF Polar Programs)

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