Location or Study Area: Marine Arctic areas
Submitted by: Søren Rysgaard
This Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) research program focuses on geomicrobial transformations as they occur in Arctic sea ice and sediments, including the regeneration of nutrients required by primary producers and thus the health of all other inhabitants of the Arctic marine system. Recent evidence suggests that microbial activity and chemical transformations within sea ice greatly influence inorganic carbonate chemistry, playing an important role in regulating carbon dioxide (CO2) uptake by Arctic seas. The objective of the program is to investigate and quantify the importance of these fundamental microbial activities using state-of-the-art assessment techniques in a comprehensive three-pronged approach of ice tank, in situ, and modelling studies. Combining experimental ice tank and in situ studies will provide important new insight into the regulation of these processes, their seasonal and geographical distribution, and how they are coupled between surface ocean and seafloor. Modelling activities will range from small-scale studies within the sea ice and sediment compartments to local coastal regions of strategic importance and the large-scale systems of the Arctic Ocean and neighbouring seas. This comprehensive effort will markedly improve current knowledge of the magnitude and regulation of microbial activity and biogeochemical processes within the context of their physical/chemical environments. The research has broad economic and environmental impacts as an increased understanding of the microbially mediated nutrient regulation of primary production is a prerequisite to understanding the future for higher organisms in Arctic marine ecosystems and the effects of a changing sea ice environment.
The Arctic has experienced unprecedented variability in both the rates and magnitudes of change in the cryosphere, atmosphere and lithosphere, dependent ecosystem function variability, increased industrial development, and concomitant globalization of local economies. We intend to understand the causes of, and consequences flowing from, alterations in sea ice dynamic and thermodynamic processes in the Northern Hemisphere. The CERC unit consists of 17 faculty members, the CERC nominee, 3 new University-funded tenure track hires, 6 new CERC and partner funded PDF and research associate positions, over 100 graduate students, and numerous national, international, and northern partners.
We address 4 key research questions and 2 objectives:
Objective 1: To produce models of coupled physical-biological processes examined in Questions 1 through 4 as a means of making the CERC unit science predictive and able to inform future environmental conditions.
Objective 2: To provide and communicate a knowledge base upon which public policy development can build to address the key issues facing the Canadian Arctic.
Principal Investigators (CEOS): Dr. Søren Rysgaard
UM Faculty: David Barber, Tim Papakyriakou, Feiyue Wany, Gary Stern, Zou Zou Kuzyk, Jens Ehn, CJ Mundy, Igor Dmitrenko, Norman Halden, Brooke Milne, John Iacozza, Ryan Galley, Massayo Ogi
Canada Excellence Research Chair program & Canada Foundation for Innovation, CRC, NSERC, Province of Manitoba, ArcticNet NCE, MB Hydro, mulitple private sector companies
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