Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society

Antonia Doncila

Department / group: School of Geosciences
Google Scholar URL: N/A

Research interests:

Stable isotopes, Global change, biogeochemical cycles of the ocean, the Arctic Ocean, Paleoceanography, Sea-ice environments and the effect of melting sea ice on nutrient biogeochemistry

Career history:

Bsc with Honors in Environmental Geoscience from University of Edinburgh- First class 2016
Phd in ATMOSPHERIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, University of Edinburgh 2016-2020

Active research projects:

Nitrogen cycling in the warming Arctic Ocean:
The Arctic Ocean mediates nutrient exchange between Atlantic and Pacific basins. The extent to which water masses travel and mix within the Arctic (via the Arctic through flow) will influence global oceanic nutrient stoichiometry, preformed nutrient concentrations within the ocean conveyor belt circulation and carbon dioxide partitioning between ocean and the atmosphere. The ongoing drastic warming in the Arctic Ocean, with its subsequent plummeting sea-ice cover and altered freshwater fluxes and budgets are potential factors that can modify vital biogeochemical processes. In particular, little is known about how these will change the cycling of growth-limiting nutrients such as fixed nitrogen, mainly present in the Arctic basin in dissolved inorganic forms like nitrate (NO₃⁻).
Recent studies have applied isotopic measurements (δ¹⁵N, δ¹⁸O) of dissolved NO₃⁻ in the water column to understand N-cycling processes in the N-NW Arctic Ocean including Bering and Chukchi seas and the Canadian Archipelago (Brown et al. 2015 and Granger et al. 2011, 2013). Although these studies have demonstrated the utility of this technique in understanding nitrogen supply and uptake processes, they are geographically restricted. As a result, the processes that control nutrient budgets and fluxes on a Pan-Arctic scale and their sensitivity to climate change remain unclear. This project aims to improve the geographical coverage by analysing the nitrate isotopic signal (δ¹⁵N, δ¹⁸O) of the central to S-SE Arctic Ocean (Fram strait, Barents Sea Opening, Eurasian Basin). By combining stable isotope data with nutrient stoichiometric data (N*) and other hydrographic and water mass flow rate measurements, including moored hydrographic measurements, in the Atlantic sector of the Arctic Ocean, the project aims to document and understand key biogeochemical and physical processes that govern N-cycling and mass balance in the Arctic ocean and elucidate their sensitivity to ongoing changes.

Recent publications:


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