Anna Rufas

Anna Rufas

Postgraduate

My research centres around the field of ocean biogeochemical modelling. In particular I am trying to understand the complex mechanisms that control the efficiency of the so-called ocean biological carbon pump (BCP), and their response to climate change. The BCP is a major pathway by which carbon is transported from the atmosphere to the ocean interior through a series of pelagic food-web related processes that create sinking organic and mineral particles. The BCP is an illustrative term of the capacity of the ocean to capture anthropogenic CO2 from the atmosphere, thereby minimising the greenhouse effect and favouring a thermal reduction of our planet.

For my purpose, I am developing a Lagrangian stochastic model of marine particles that explicitly interact with marine biology, abiotic factors and ocean circulation while carrying essential biochemical properties from the sunlit surface to the deep ocean. Such a mechanistic, dynamic representation of the BCP poses novel questions on our ocean system that might help to predict how it will evolve in future scenarios.

This project is an opportunity to work on a fascinating aspect of the natural world, which is how biological systems influence the climate of our planet. The research is funded by the NERC large grant COMICS (Controls over Mesopelagic Interior Carbon Storage).