Yuanxu Dong

I am a PhD student majoring in environmental science at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML). Dorothee Bakker (UEA), Peter Liss (UEA), Tom Bell (PML) and Mingxi Yang (PML) are my supervisors. I was studying marine science (2012-2016) and physical oceanography (2016-2019) at the Ocean University of China.

I am interested in the air-sea gas exchange processes and the ocean uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). I am now using direct air-sea CO2 flux measurements by eddy covariance (EC, Figure 1) from 5 cruises to study uncertainties in EC flux measurements and factors affecting the gas transfer velocity as well as the influence of shallow stratification due to sea ice melt on indirect air-sea CO2 flux estimates. I will also study the gas transfer velocity and the shallow stratification regionally and their impacts on the global air-sea CO2 flux estimates.

Figure 1. The ship-based eddy covariance system: 1) Sonic anemometer, 2) Motion sensor, 3) Air sample inlet for gas analyser, 4) Datalogger/gas analyser (Dong et al., 2021). (The photos of the ships and instruments were taken by Tom Bell and Mingxi Yang)

Figure 2. Gas transfer velocity (K660) measured on Arctic cruise JR18007 versus wind speed (U10N) (Dong et al., 2021).

I recently submitted a paper titled ‘Uncertainties in eddy covariance air-sea CO2 flux measurements and implications for gas transfer velocity parameterisations’ (Figure 2) to Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP) and now this paper is published as a ACP discussion paper (Dong et al., 2021, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-120). Another paper possibly titled ‘The impact of shallow stratification on air-sea CO2 flux in the summer Arctic Ocean’ is being revised.

Figure 3. A heart-shaped cloud taken on the sea.

Figure 4. The seawater in the west Pacific Ocean with the transparency higher than 40 m.

I have been on two open ocean cruises (the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean, Figure 3 and 4) and was responsible for part of the physical oceanography and meteorological observations. I will be likely to join an Atlantic (Atlantic Meridional Transect) cruise for the direct air-sea CO2 flux measurements in 2022.

I have expertise in data processing using Python and Matlab. I have a wide range of interests in sports like cycling, basketball, football, and table tennis.


Dong, Y., Yang, M., Bakker, D. C. E., Kitidis, V. and Bell, T. G.: Uncertainties in eddy covariance air-sea CO2 flux measurements and implications for gas transfer velocity parameterisations, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 1–43, 2021.

Timothy Klein

I am a second year PhD researcher at the University of East Anglia under the supervision of Dr. Laura Lehtovirta. My research focuses on studying archaeal ammonia oxidisers that are key players in the biogeochemical cycling of nitrogen through their role in the nitrification process. Biological nitrification has adverse environmental consequences as it contributes to the loss of soil nitrogen and the production of greenhouse gasses. This requires an in-depth understanding of the archaeal ammonia oxidation pathway and the molecular mechanisms that facilitate AOA adaptation to their environments. Unfortunately, these organisms (AOA) are currently not genetically tractable which limits their study to ‘OMIC’-based analyses and tedious physiology-based studies. To address this issue, this project aims to develop genetic tools for a model AOA which will facilitate in vivo functional studies to better understand the molecular mechanisms of ammonia oxidation.

Timothy Klein ORCID link

Madison East

Hi I’m Madi. I am a 1st year PhD student at the University of Cambridge. My research focuses on understanding the mechanism behind coral calcification, so that we can both improve our understanding of past ocean conditions through paleo-proxies, and our estimates of how corals will fair in the future. My research career so far has been quite varied. I have also studied how subduction zones have changed since the break-up of Pangea, and how enhanced slab flux may have contributed to mantle dynamics. For my honours thesis at the University of Sydney, I used Landscape Evolution Modeling to explore sediment fates across a tropical continental margin, and the role of reef platforms over glacial-inter-glacial cycles. There are just too many interesting things to learn about. I hope that wherever my focus moves, it will be contributing to keeping the natural world as beautiful and brilliant as it already is.

For more details on my work, feel free to visit my ResearchGate profile.

Conceptual figure generated for the following publication: East, M., Müller, R.D., Williams, S., Zahirovic, S. and Heine, C., 2020. Subduction history reveals Cretaceous slab superflux as a possible cause for the mid-Cretaceous plume pulse and superswell events. Gondwana Research79, pp.125-139.

Kirsten O’Sullivan

I am a forest ecologist interested in determining the impacts of ongoing global climate change on forest distribution, structure and function. I am in my 3rd year of my PhD at the University of Stirling funded by NERC IAPETUS. My research focuses on subtropical montane forests in Taiwan, where I am investigating changes from the ecosystem to the species level using national forest inventory data, field surveys and lab based growth experiments. As global environmental changes continue, this information will feed into a broader understanding of impacts, to allow us to prepare for the implications of such changes for biodiversity, ecosystem function and dependent human populations.

Education: MRes. (Distinction) Biodiversity and Conservation (2016-2017; University of Leeds) BSc. (hons; 1st class) Conservation Biology (2012-2016; University of Aberdeen)

Publications: O’Sullivan KSW, Ruiz-Benito P, Chen J & Jump AS (2021) Onward but not always upward: individualistic elevational shifts of tree species in subtropical montane forests. Ecography, 44 (1), pp. 112-123. https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.05334


Twitter: https://twitter.com/kirsten_os

Linkedin: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/kirsten-o-sullivan-593185120

University page:  https://www.stir.ac.uk/people/1017477#aboutme

Elizabeth Archer

In 2019, I graduated with a degree in Marine Biology from the University of Essex, where I developed a keen interest in marine microbiology and ecology. During this time, I re-established the student-led Marine Conservation Society. Together we organised events such as beach and river clean-ups both as a society and in partnership with the Essex Wildlife Trust. I completed my dissertation on the ‘Spatial Ecology of Coral Disease in the Wakatobi Marine National Park (WMNP), Indonesia’ under the supervision of Professor David Smith. The research project, involving a 6-week SCUBA diving expedition, analysed the prevalence of disease across different coral genera and environmental conditions.  

I became aware of the diversity of Vibrio bacteria due to their association with multiple coral diseases, and the importance of investigating the expansion of marine pathogens with rising sea temperatures in terms of both geographic cover and population abundance. These topics dominate my research interests, now from a human health perspective, as climate warming is associated with increasing incidences of Vibrio infections around the world.

I started my PhD, entitled: ‘Is it safe to go in the sea? Climate change and Vibrio bacteria’, at UEA in 2019 under the supervision of Professor Iain Lake. This project is funded by the ARIES DTP and CASE partner CEFAS (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science).

PhD Research

Vibrio bacteria inhabit marine and estuarine environments, with populations strongly influenced by temperature and salinity. Pathogenic strains of these bacteria can result in serious, sometimes fatal, infections in humans that are predominantly contracted through open wounds or the consumption of contaminated seafood.  Changes in climate and extreme weather patterns are believed to expand the environmental suitability for Vibrio species through space and time whilst also boosting the regularity of human exposure to these pathogens, leading to higher rates of infection.

My research aims to generate a clearer understanding of the influence of climate change on Vibrio disease and aid the development of mitigation strategies that seek to minimise the impact of such infections on human health. Through the creation of statistical models using epidemiological, climatic, and oceanographic datasets, I am able to apply the output of my analyses to regional and global climate models to predict the distribution of future Vibrio risk under different climate change scenarios.


Twitter: @ejarcher25

Email: elizabeth.archer@uea.ac.uk

Charlotte Underwood

PhD student at the University of Southampton

Project title: The impacts of light pollution on aquatic invertebrates              

Supervisors: Dr. Herman Wijnen, Dr. Alex Ford (UPortsmouth), and Dr. Sam Robson (UPortsmouth)

UoS webpage: https://www.southampton.ac.uk/oes/postgraduate/research_students/cu1n19.page

Twitter: @ScarlettThunder


2014 – 2015 MSc Conservation and Biodiversity (with Distinction), University of Exeter

Research project: Effects of artificial light at night on the foraging behaviour of dogwhelks (Nucella lapillus) using mesocosm experiments and time-lapse photography at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory. Presented results at the Plymouth Marine Science and Education Foundation (PlyMSEF) 2016 conference. Supervisors: Dr. Ana Queirós (PML) and Dr. Thomas Davies (Exeter)

2008 – 2012 BSc Marine Biology (with Honours), Dalhousie University

Research project: A comparative analysis of food web structure in salt marshes via invertebrate gut content analysis. Involved taking sediment samples from salt marshes for preservation and observation. Supervisor: Dr. Tamara Romanuk


Underwood, C.N., Davies, T.W. and Queirós, A.M. (2017), Artificial light at night alters trophic interactions of intertidal invertebrates. J Anim Ecol, 86: 781-789. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.12670