NERC appoints new BIO-Carbon champion

Dr Adrian Martin

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has appointed a BIO-Carbon champion to lead a programme that will provide new insights into the role of marine life in ocean carbon storage.

Dr Adrian Martin, Ocean Biogeochemist at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), will lead the five year Biological influence on future ocean storage of carbon (BIO-Carbon) programme.

The ocean stores huge amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) that would otherwise be in the atmosphere. Marine organisms play a critical role in this process, but emerging evidence indicates that climate models are not fully accounting for their impact. This undermines carbon policies, such as national net zero targets.

Research funded by this new programme will improve understanding of biological processes and provide robust predictions of future ocean carbon storage in a changing climate.

Sharing knowledge

As champion, Adrian will work with programme participants to ensure that the knowledge generated is shared to help realise programme objectives.

He will proactively engage with the national and international community to ensure that the BIO-Carbon programme has strong links and synergies with other relevant research programmes and initiatives.

Dr Adrian Martin

Dr Adrian Martin has considerable experience running multi-disciplinary projects combining fieldwork and modelling, that are focussed on how marine organisms uptake and store atmospheric carbon dioxide in the ocean.

Adrian also has experience associated with the UN Ocean Decade for Sustainable Development.

He successfully led the application for one of the first endorsed Ocean Decade programmes (JETZON) and through that has been building interactions with other Ocean Decade actions (e.g., OneArgo, DOSI, Challenger 150) which are all of relevance to BIO-Carbon.

Taking on the champion role

Adrian Martin says: “I am delighted to have this opportunity to work with NERC, to deliver the ambitious aims of BIO-Carbon at a critical time.

In the necessary drive for net-zero, carbon dioxide removal schemes are being considered, which may adversely impact the ocean ecosystem, despite us having limited understanding of how ocean ecosystems currently store carbon, let alone how it will respond to such perturbation.

Bio-Carbon will therefore provide vital new understanding to inform future policy. It promises to be a major contribution to the United Nations Ocean Decade.”