Robert Petrie

Understanding the ocean carbon cycle is an essential part of predicting future climate change, as well as the complex dynamics of marine ecosystems. This understanding is currently limited by a lack of globally distributed ocean carbon measurements. The Southern Ocean is especially under-sampled, owing to the difficulties of deploying existing carbon measurement systems there.

My PhD project will aim to address the challenges of measuring ocean carbon by developing a new kind of sensor based around Hollow-Core Optical Fibres (HCFs), which should enable a vastly more compact and robust sensor platform. The fibres will be coated with natural dyes and nanoparticles to facilitate interaction with carbon in microfluidic samples of seawater, with Raman and UV-Vis spectroscopy being used to provide accurate measurement of both carbon concentration and pH levels.

By the end of my PhD, we should have a new way of measuring ocean carbon, enabling far richer datasets to be produced for previously under-studied regions.

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