Carolyn Buchwald

Canada Research Chair in Ocean Chemistry

Tier 2 - 2017-11-01
Renewed: 2023-01-01
Dalhousie University
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council


Coming to Canada From

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts, United States

Research involves

Using nitrogen and oxygen isotopes to decipher nitrogen biogeochemistry in the ocean.

Research relevance

This research will provide insights into ways to remove nitrogen pollution from coastal waters.

Research summary

Forms of fixed nitrogen, such as nitrate, nitrite and ammonia, are influential nutrients in the ocean. Their availability controls both productivity (the amount of organic material available to support sea creatures) and the export of carbon from the surface ocean. The surface ocean is the first 100 metres of depth across the entire ocean, and is where the ocean meets the atmosphere and absorbs carbon dioxide. As one of the largest carbon dioxide sinks in our environment, it has a significant impact on our climate.

Scientists can use stable isotopes of fixed forms of nitrogen to understand the role and transformation of nutrients in the ocean. As Canada Research Chair in Ocean Chemistry, Dr. Carolyn Buchwald is exploring complex nitrogen cycle processes and their isotope systematics to improve biogeochemical models. She and her research team hope to improve our understanding of productivity, nutrient cycling and the carbon cycle in the ocean.