Overview

The hydrological cycle is increasing in the Arctic, ice-sheets and glaciers are melting faster than ever, river discharge is increasing, and river plumes are expanding in extent resulting in an overall freshening of the Arctic Ocean. The freshwater delivered to the Arctic Ocean comes laden with large stores of both inorganic (e.g. mineral particles, macro- and micro-nutrients) and organic material (OM). Previously, much of this allochthonous material was locked up in glaciers, ice sheets, and permafrost, so little is known about how it is processed and its fate once it reaches the ocean. There is some indication that this OM is highly bioavailable to microorganisms hence, its mobilization could drive a release of CO2 to the atmosphere, but the extent to which has yet to be quantified. Furthermore, there are still many unknowns about how the OM in freshwater may be transformed by both physiochemical and biological processes once it reaches the coast. This project will seek to shed light on these processes which are critical to understand in order to determine the role these freshening coastal areas may have for further amplifying feedbacks of climate change in the future. 

The postdoctoral candidate will participate in a field expedition to Northeast Greenland (August 2023), where they will collect samples from Greenland Ice Sheet run-off and marine surface waters.

The candidate will perform experiments related to OM transformation in these coastal water masses and the eventual fate of OM in the marine environment. The candidate will be integrated into a research group with ongoing projects related to the fate of OM in atmosphere, via CO2 flux, volatile OM flux, or aerosolization.