Preservation of organic
carbon (OC) in marine sediments plays a major role in modulating Earth’s
climate. Volcanic eruptions eject large amounts of products (tephra) into the
atmosphere, much of which falls into the oceans, settles to the seafloor and
undergoes rapid reaction with seawater. These reactions enhance OC preservation
by up to 10%, making their contribution to the marine carbon cycle significant.
Nutrients supplied by volcanic ash have been linked with increased primary
productivity in the oceans, influencing marine OC burial in the modern day and
throughout periods of climatic upheaval such as the Cretaceous Period,
demonstrating the importance of volcanic ash throughout Earth’s history. Tephra
can also be an energy source for distinct microbiological communities, making
the study of tephra also important in understanding how life thrives in extreme
multidisciplinary project, you will investigate the role of explosive volcanism
in modulating the marine carbon cycle using International Ocean Discovery
Program (IODP) samples from a range of global locations, including the Nankai
Trough, Japan and northern Hikurangi margin, New Zealand. You will also explore
tephra’s potential as a habitat for distinct microbial life in the marine
realm. This will directly impact our understanding of the marine carbon cycle
and life in extreme environments.
Training will include
organic, inorganic, microbiological and microscopic methods, as well as
transferrable skills such as scientific communication skills. Analyses will be
performed across all named institutions depending on supervisor expertise and
all supervisors will be involved in data handling and discussion.