Student Vignettes

Jonathan Sharp

About my research

I am studying marine chemistry in Dr. Robert Byrne’s CO2 Sensors Lab. My research mainly focuses on the dynamics of the carbon dioxide system in seawater. I am interested in refining the methodology used for direct spectrophotometric measurement of carbonate ion concentration. This includes algorithm development and determination of temperature effects. As human carbon emissions continue to lower both the pH and the carbonate concentration of our oceans, this work will enhance our ability to quickly and accurately assess the health of marine ecosystems.

I’m also involved with instrument development; creating and testing novel ways to measure carbon dioxide system parameters in seawater. I am currently working on a compact instrument that will simultaneously measure pH, dissolved inorganic carbon, and total alkalinity with minimal operator input.

I enjoy research cruises as well. I recently participated in the 2016 West Coast Ocean Acidification Cruise, measuring pH and carbonate concentration during a month-long journey up the west coast of North America. I am looking forward to even more time at sea in the future.


The College of Marine Science is a fantastic community of intelligent, friendly, and ambitious people. The relationship between students, professors, and administrators is impressive and has really enriched my graduate school experience thus far. On top of all that, the St. Petersburg area “suffers” from an infestation of marine scientists. This is great when it comes to both formal research collaboration and informal sharing of ideas.

The research that comes out of CMS labs is first-rate, and the community conducting that research is so much fun to be a part of. I consider myself very fortunate to be a student at one of the foremost marine science research institutions in the country.

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