Carbon Storage in the Deep Sea by Hope Ianiri

Hope Ianiri

UC Santa Cruz | Wildcat Cove Foundation

Organic carbon accumulates in the ocean and persists for thousands of years, but scientists have an extremely limited understanding of the mechanisms which control this process and how it will respond to the changing climate. For my dissertation, I employ a wide range of cutting-edge chemical approaches to understand the source, structure, and processes responsible for accumulation of marine organic carbon.


My dissertation investigates the long-term marine carbon cycle. About a quarter of anthropogenic carbon emissions is taken up by the oceans, some of which persists in the ocean for thousands of years. This makes the marine organic carbon reservoir a critical player in marine carbon sequestration. Still, despite significant research, why some carbon accumulates in the ocean remains an enigma to chemical oceanographers. This mystery and global importance are what motivated me to focus my graduate thesis on the marine carbon reservoir. Each chapter of my thesis utilizes a novel analytical tool to determine the composition and cycling of marine carbon. These investigations will help unravel what causes long term carbon storage in the ocean and how the oceans will respond to human-induced changes to the global carbon cycle.


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