Jonathan D. Sharp

Ph.D. Student
Chemical Oceanography

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I am a Ph.D. student in Bob Byrne‘s CO2 System Chemistry lab. My main area of research concerns monitoring and improving ways to measure marine carbonate chemistry, which is changing rapidly in response to human-induced ocean acidification.

My recent work has been focused on refining a method for directly measuring carbonate ion concentration in seawater. Carbonate is an important chemical species for surface-dwelling marine organisms like corals and shelled molluscs, which build physical support structures out of the mineral calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate built by these organisms later sinks out of the surface ocean and dissolves at depth. These processes make the carbonate ion a critical component of the global carbon cycle. I have refined the carbonate ion measurement method to ensure consistency between research cruises and extended the method to be applicable across a range of temperatures. This work also included small modifications to the CO2SYS software to allow for carbonate ion concentration to be used as an input variable.

During my time as a Ph.D. student, I’ve participated in two coastal ocean acidification cruises sponsored by NOAA: the 2016 West Coast Ocean Acidification Cruise and the 2017 Gulf of Mexico Ecosystems and Carbon Cycle Cruise. On these research cruises I measured seawater pH and carbonate ion concentrations. I also operated novel sensors to continuously measure pH, carbonate, total alkalinity, and dissolved inorganic carbon.

Before graduate school, I worked as a research technician at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, where I studied ocean chemistry with Dr. Frank Millero. My main areas of focus were ionic interactions in seawater and marine carbonate chemistry.

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