My PhD research project is part of the Blue Carbon initiative and is focused on identifying the types of carbon compounds stored in marine sediments, determining if they change in composition over time and investigating the chemical behaviour of those compounds if released back into the marine environment.
Developing methodologies of carbon accounting in Blue Carbon stocks and emissions will confirm their role in climate change mitigation and promote conservation of marine habitats. High priority therefore, should go toward identification of refractory versus non-refractory carbon in marine sediment core samples, as this is essential to understanding the potential release of reactive carbon (non-refractory) into the ocean from anthropogenic damage to seagrass beds and mangroves.
The sediment cores will require dating, which will involve analysis of natural and artificial radioisotopes, while organic carbon analysis will examine infrared and nuclear magnetic resonance spectra and engage collaboration with a modelling expert.
Mrs Samantha Ridgway
Centre for Marine Ecosystems Research
School of Science
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