My research combines marine micropaleontology, geochemistry, and marine ecology to unravel mesocosm- to ocean-scale aspects of the Earth’s carbon cycle. Changes in the latter are widely acknowledged as fundamental threats to the environment, economy, and, in turn, societies. The oceans constitute a major carbon reservoir and hence play a central role in the global carbon cycle. Marine biological, physical, and chemical feedback loops define the pathways of carbon in the global environmental system. The current, rapid accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere directly affects the carbonate chemistry of seawater and is causing the decrease of seawater pH (i.e., ocean acidification), which has direct and potentially severe consequences for marine ecosystems.
My recent research has focused on the impacts of ocean acidification and climate change on marine calcifying planktonic organisms that are particularly sensitive to the changing ocean carbonate chemistry, temperature and nutrients. My research lies in the integration of multiple approaches and sampling strategies, including culture experiments, water samples, analysis of the water column carbonate particle flux using sediment traps, and sediments from past time-intervals in a wide range of ocean settings. One of the key areas that has attracted my interest is the Mediterranean Sea as it represents a region with a fascinating yet poorly understood carbonate system that carries unique imprints of anthropogenic acidification impacts.
My present work focus on 1) climate change impacts on marine ecology, species turnover and carbonate dynamics on a wide range of timescales and 2) developing strategies for policy response on marine environmental sustainability and carbon emission. My working areas are the Mediterranean Sea, high-latitude oceans, and coastal upwelling regimes.