Dr Denise Smythe-Wright

Position: 
Honarary Research Fellow
Group: 
Ocean Biogeochemistry and Ecosystems
Email: 
denise.smythe-wright@noc.ac.uk
Location: 
Southampton

My  current research interests centre on the oceanic sources and sinks of a number of environmentally important gases.   I am particularly concerned about the fate of halocarbons but I have also been involved in studies of DMS and nitrous oxide.  My main focus is to better understand the distribution of trace gases in the ocean and their exchange with the atmosphere and the biological and chemical processes that cause trace gas production. Both aspects are fundamental to atmospheric chemistry and our ability to develop accurate climate prediction models. Halogen atoms in the atmosphere are though to both force and mitigate climate change. For example, we now know that the tropical ocean is a major source of methyl iodide and once released to the atmosphere this compound like other volatile iodocompounds undergoes a series of reactions that can lead to the formation of cloud condensation nuclei. Such cloud formation may act against global warming and mitigate it, but the processes involved and their extent is presently unknown. My work with trace gases has also given me an interest in phytoplankton community structure. My main area of research is the use of plant pigments and their degradation products as biomarkers for specific phytoplankton groups. By looking at pigment ratios and abundances in the ocean we are able to discern which phytoplankton species are abundant at a given time. It is also possible to look at pigments with ocean colour satellites and I am working towards establishing a link between ocean colour and trace gas release in the ocean, although at present the link is rather tenuous. While most of my research has been conducted at sea on research vessels or with laboratory culture and mesocosm studies, I have recently become involved in using ships of opportunity. At present we have an automated trace gas system on the Pride of Bilbao ferry, which runs from Portsmouth to Bilbao, Spain twice a week. This is giving both trace gas and biological community structure data at very high resolution and is enabling us to better determine the flux of more then 20 trace gases from the ocean to the atmosphere as well as helping us to understand seasonal phytoplankton succession.

Committee and Board Memberships: 

Vice President of International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Ocean Member of the Marine Assessment and Reporting Group - DEFRA Member of NCOF Committee Member of NERC EOF Board

Publications

Article

Hartman, S.E.; Hartman, M.C.; Hydes, D.J.; Smythe-Wright, D.; Gohin, F.; Lazure, P.. 2014 The role of hydrographic parameters, measured from a ship of opportunity, in bloom formation of Karenia mikimotoi in the English Channel. Journal of Marine Systems, 140 (A). 39-49.10.1016/j.jmarsys.2014.07.001
Smythe-Wright, Denise; Daniel, Aaron; Boswell, Stephen; Purcell, Diane; Hartman, Mark; Hartman, Susan; Hydes, David. 2014 Phytoplankton and pigment studies in the Bay of Biscay and English Channel. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 106. 76-86.10.1016/j.dsr2.2013.12.015
Hartman, Susan E.; Hartman, Mark C; Hydes, David J.; Jiang, Zong-Pei; Smythe-Wright, Denise; González-Pola, Cesar. 2014 Seasonal and inter-annual variability in nutrient supply in relation to mixing in the Bay of Biscay. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 106. 68-75.10.1016/j.dsr2.2013.09.032
Johnson, Clare; Sherwin, Toby; Smythe-Wright, Denise; Shimmield, Tracy; Turrell, William. 2010 Wyville Thomson Ridge Overflow Water: Spatial and temporal distribution in the Rockall Trough. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 57 (10). 1153-1162.10.1016/j.dsr.2010.07.006
Smythe-Wright, Denise; Peckett, Cristina; Boswell, Stephen; Harrison, Rebecca. 2010 Controls on the production of organohalogens by phytoplankton: Effect of nitrate concentration and grazing. Journal of Geophysical Research, 115 (G3). G03020.10.1029/2009JG001036
Smythe-Wright, Denise; Boswell, Stephen; Kim, Young-Nam; Kemp, Alan. 2010 Spatio-temporal changes in the distribution of phytopigments and phytoplanktonic groups at the Porcupine Abyssal Plain (PAP) site. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 57 (15). 1324-1335 .10.1016/j.dsr2.2010.01.009
Lampitt, R.S.; Achterberg, E.P.; Anderson, T.R.; Hughes, J.A.; Iglesias-Rodriguez, M.D.; Kelly-Gerreyn, B.A.; Lucas, M.; Popova, E.E.; Sanders, R.; Shepherd, J.G.; Smythe-Wright, D.; Yool, A.. 2008 Ocean fertilization: a potential means of geoengineering? Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London A, 366 (1882). 3919-3945.10.1098/rsta.2008.0139
LeBel, Deborah A.; Smethie, William M.; Rhein, Monika; Kieke, Dagmar; Fine, Rana A.; Bullister, John L.; Min, Dong-Ha; Roether, Wolfgang; Weiss, Ray F.; Andrié, Chantal; Smythe-Wright, Denise; Jones, E. Peter. 2008 The formation rate of North Atlantic Deep Water and Eighteen Degree Water calculated from CFC-11 inventories observed during WOCE. Deep-Sea Research I, 55 (8). 891-910.10.1016/j.dsr.2008.03.009
Smythe-Wright, D.; Boswell, S.M.; Breithaupt, P.; Davidson, R.D.; Dimmer, C.H.; Eiras Diaz, L.B.. 2006 Methyl iodide production in the ocean: implications for climate change. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 20 (3). GB3003.10.1029/2005GB002642
Gallienne, C.P.; Smythe-Wright, D.. 2005 Epipelagic mesozooplankton dynamics around the Mascarene Plateau and Basin, Southwest Indian Ocean. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London A, 363 (1826). 191-202.10.1098/rsta.2004.1487
New, A.L.; Stansfield, K.; Smythe-Wright, D.; Smeed, D.A.; Evans, A.J.; Alderson, S.G.. 2005 Physical and biochemical aspects of the flow across the Mascarene Plateau in the Indian Ocean. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London A, 363 (1826). 151-168.10.1098/rsta.2004.1484
Smythe-Wright, D.; Boswell, S.M.; Lucas, C.H.; New, A.L.; Varney, M.S.. 2005 Halocarbon and dimethyl sulphide production around the Mascarene Plateau. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London A, 363 (1826). 169-185.10.1098/rsta.2004.1485
Le Bel, D.A.; Smethie, W.M.; Bullister, J.L.; Jones, E.P.; Min, D-H.; Rhein, M.; Roether, W.; Smythe-Wright, D.; Weiss, R.F.. 2002 Distribution of chlorofluorocarbons in the North Atlantic, 1996-1998. EOS: Transactions American Geophysical Union, 83 (4 Supplement). p.OS254.
Rhein, M.; Fischer, J.; Smethie, W.M.; Smythe-Wright, D.; Weiss, R.F.; Mertens, C.; Min, D.H.; Fleischmann, U.; Putzka, A.. 2002 Labrador seawater: pathways, CFC inventory and formation rates. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 32 (2). 648-665.10.1175/1520-0485(2002)032<0648:LSWPCI>2.0.CO;2
Dimmer, C.H.; McCulloch, A.; Simmonds, P.G.; Nickless, G.; Bassford, M.R.; Smythe-Wright, D.. 2001 Tropospheric concentrations of the chlorinated solvents, tetrachloroethene, and trichloroethene, measured in the remote Northern Hemisphere. Atmospheric Environment, 35 (7). 1171-1182.10.1016/S1352-2310(00)00427-1
New, A.L.; Smythe-Wright, D.. 2001 Aspects of the circulation in the Rockall Trough. Continental Shelf Research, 21 (8/10). 777-810.10.1016/S0278-4343(00)00113-8

Book section

Lampitt, R.S.; Achterberg, E.P.; Anderson, T.R.; Hughes, J.A.; Iglesias-Rodriguez, M.D.; Kelly-Gerreyn, B.A.; Lucas, M.; Popova, E.E.; Sanders, R.; Shepherd, J.G.; Smythe-Wright, D.; Yool, A.. 2010 Ocean fertilisation: a potential means of geo-engineering? In: Thompson, J. Michael T.; Launder, Brian, (eds.)Geo-Engineering Climate Change: Environmental Necessity or Pandora's Box? Cambridge, University of Cambridge, 149-180, 332pp.
Smythe-Wright, D.; Boswell, S.. 2010 Phytoplankton Community and Trace Gas Studies from the Pride of Bilbao. In: Hall, J.; Harrison, D.E.; Stammer, D., (eds.)Proceedings of OceanObs’09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society. Noordwijk, The Netherlands, European Space Agency. (ESA Special Publication, WPP-306).
Smythe-Wright, D.; Cunningham, S.A.; Lampitt, R.A.; Kent, E.C.; King, B.A.; Quartly, G.D.; Read, J.F.; Zubkov, M.V.. 2010 Sustained observations in the Atlantic and Southern Oceans. In: Hall, J.; Harrison, D.E.; Stammer, D., (eds.)Proceedings of OceanObs’09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society. Noordwijk, The Netherlands, European Space Agency. (ESA Special Publication, WPP-306).

Monograph

Smythe-Wright, D.. 1999 RRS Discovery Cruise 233, 23 Apr-01 Jun 1998. A Chemical and Hydrographic Atlantic Ocean Survey: CHAOS. Southampton, UK, Southampton Oceanography Centre Cruise Report, 86pp. (Southampton Oceanography Centre Cruise Report 24)
Boswell, S.M.; Smythe-Wright, D.. 1995 Chemical tracer studies at IOSDL - 5. Manual for the determination of halocarbons in sea water and air using a dual detector instrument. Wormley, UK, Institute of Oceanographic Sciences Deacon Laboratory, 53pp. (Institute of Oceanographic Sciences Deacon Laboratory Report 307)
Smythe-Wright, D.; Paylor, R.; Holley, S.E.. 1993 Chemical tracer studies at IOSDL - 4. The measurement of oxygen in seawater by photometric and amperometric techniques. Wormley, UK, Institute of Oceanographic Sciences Deacon Laboratory, 47pp. (Institute of Oceanographic Sciences Deacon Laboratory Report 303)
Smythe-Wright, D.; Paylor, R.; Holley, S.E.. 1992 Chemical tracer studies at IOSDL - 3. The measurement of silicate, nitrate and phosphate in seawater. Wormley, UK, Institute of Oceanographic Sciences Deacon Laboratory, 73pp. (Institute of Oceanographic Sciences Deacon Laboratory Report 302)
Smythe-Wright, D.. 1990 Chemical tracer studies at IOSDL - 2. Method manual for the routine measurement of chlorofluorocarbons in seawater and air. Wormley, UK, Institute of Oceanographic Sciences Deacon Laboratory, 63pp. (Institute of Oceanographic Sciences Deacon Laboratory Report 275)
Smythe-Wright, D.. 1990 Chemical tracer studies at IOSDL - 1. The design and construction of analytical equipment for the measurement of chlorofluorocarbons in seawater and air. Wormley, UK, Institute of Oceanographic Sciences Deacon Laboratory, 78pp. (Institute of Oceanographic Sciences Deacon Laboratory Report 274)