Cliff Law - CARIM Leader

Cliff Law - CARIM Leader

Niall Broekhuizen

Niall Broekhuizen

Neill Barr

Neill Barr

Chris Cornelisen

Chris Cornelisen

Paul Barter

Paul Barter

Vonda Cummings

Vonda Cummings

Helen Bostock

Helen Bostock

Kim Currie

Kim Currie

Sam Gale

Sam Gale

Mark Gall

Mark Gall

Mark Hadfield

Mark Hadfield

Chris Hepburn

Chris Hepburn

Zoe Hilton

Zoe Hilton

Victoria Metcalf

Victoria Metcalf

Lisa Northcote

Lisa Northcote

John Zeldis

John Zeldis

Nick King

Nick King

Sara Milakoff-Fletcher

Sara Milakoff-Fletcher

Darren Parsons

Darren Parsons

Miles Lamare

Miles Lamare

Wendy Nelson

Wendy Nelson

Norman Ragg

Norman Ragg

Helen McDonald

Helen McDonald

Emma Newcombe

Emma Newcombe

Mary Sewell

Mary Sewell

 

Cliff Law (Carim Leader)


Job title and place of work

Principal Scientist-Marine Biogeochemistry, NIWA.

What is your role in the CARIM project? What work package are you contributing to?

CARIM project Leader & Leader RA3.

What do you do on an average work day?

Identify research questions and cunning ways to get them funded.

Why is studying coastal acidification important?

It's where we interact with the ocean; consequently it's where we benefit & harm the most.

What study did you do at high school? And after high school?

Zoology, Chemistry & Statistics at A Level, followed by Marine Biology degree, M.Sc in Water Management & PhD in marine microbial processes.

What outcomes from CARIM do you think there will be?

Changes in the way that people value & manage land-ocean interaction.

What excites you about working on this project?

Interaction between different disciplines, & making a difference.

 
 

NEIll barr


Job title and place of work

Principal Technician, NIWA Wellington.

What is your role in the CARIM project? What work package are you contributing to?

My role in the CARIM projects is as a principal technician for both RA3 (Cliff Law’s mesocosm work) and RA4 (Vonda Cumming’s paua research) projects. My responsibilities include many aspects of the design and construction of control and monitoring systems for this research. In my role I have to continue to improve and adapt our systems as new experimental questions arise, but I do this always with the mantra in mind of keeping things as simple and flexible as possible. 

What do you do on an average work day?

On an average day at work when these ‘OA’ experiments are running I have to maintain and repair the various components of these systems, often on-the-fly. These systems are necessarily technically very intensive, for example there are a total of over 80 pumps of various descriptions in both the CARIM systems I look after. 

Why is studying coastal acidification important?

I view the study of ‘ocean acidification’ as the unequivocal manifestation of atmospheric ‘climate change’ in the ocean. It is tangible, demonstrable, and its effects will be far reaching into the future. So the research we do is critically important and it is good to feel I can make some contribution to the outcomes of this work.

What study did you do at high school? And after high school?

I have to say wasn’t a particularly good academic student at school but I always enjoyed inventing and building things. I have had a very varied working life so far, starting as woolscourer and eventually getting an adult apprenticeship as an electrician in the local freezing works. After that I worked overseas predominantly as a ship’s electrician on luxury motor yachts and also did a short stint on the MV Greenpeace. At the age of 34 I studied at the University of Auckland and 10 years later had earned a PhD in marine and environmental science specialising in seaweed ecophysiology.

What outcomes from CARIM do you think there will be?

I anticipate that this research will inform and advance our understanding of the future effects of ocean acidification. In some small way I hope this may help us very soon make better decisions about the future of our planet.

What excites you about working on this project?

I very much enjoy the challenges of developing systems for controlling basic aspects of seawater chemistry (like pH), to mimic and manipulate the cycles and patterns we see in nature. 

 
 

Paul Barter


Job title and place of work

Senior Marine Scientist – Cawthron Institute.

What is your role in the CARIM project? What work package are you contributing to?

I am working with Chris Cornelisen and Emma Newcombe from Cawthron on the Tasman Bay component of CARIM. Specifically, I am overseeing the instrumentation and telemetry on Cawthron’s water quality buoy (TASCAM) situated near the mussel farming areas in Tasman Bay. 

As part of this I am working with colleagues at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute to enable a recently deployed seaPhOx instrument to display data relating to water quality and acidification to the public in real time.

What do you do on an average work day?

My role at Cawthron is varied as I work in areas of both impact assessment and platform (i.e. water quality buoy) development. Some days may see me writing code to process and transfer data to shore; or designing, integrating, and troubleshooting electronics/instruments – whereas other days may involve fieldwork or diving to assess impacts from man-made contaminant inputs into the marine environment. 

Why is studying coastal acidification important?

Unlike the ‘traditional’ contaminants that have historically been discharged to the marine environment and can be easily measured from their point-source of discharge, the causes of coastal acidification are more subtle and not easily measured on small spatial scales.

What study did you do at high school? And after high school?

I focused on biology at both high school and university and was introduced to oceanographic instrumentation when I got my first post-university job. I’ve always liked technology and enjoy being able to apply my biology background using technology based solutions.

What outcomes from CARIM do you think there will be?

Understanding coastal acidification requires both national and international collaboration. CARIM will be an important piece to the puzzle given New Zealand’s geographic location.   

What excites you about working on this project?

Being able to use emerging technologies to better understand coastal acidification

 
 
Helen Bostock_515_515.jpg

helen bostock


Job title and place of work

Marine Geologist, NIWA.

What is your role in the CARIM project? What work package are you contributing to?

RA2 – working with John Zeldis and others modelling the coastal carbonate systems.

Along with my colleague Sara Mikaloff-Fletcher we hope to use the monitoring data from RA1 (and previously collected data) from single sites and use some clever maths to extrapolate what the carbonate system might be doing in other coastal areas around New Zealand that we currently don’t have the resources to monitor.

What do you do on an average work day?

My work days vary depending on what project I am currently working on. I spend a little more time than I would like at my computer. Most of this time involves analysing data and writing/editing/reading proposals, reports or papers.

A lot of time is spent communicating with other researchers, with meetings, but also email and Skype with colleagues overseas. I try to get in the laboratory every few months to get my hands dirty. I spend several hours a week talking with my students and making sure they are on track with their projects. 

Why is studying coastal acidification important?

Coastal ecosystems are diverse and they provide considerable enjoyment, including for recreation and provision of kaimoana. However, these regions could be under threat from a raft of different climate and human influences - one of which is ocean acidification. This could have a significant effect on the coastal regions – creating dead zones, or regions where some species take over.

What study did you do at high school? And after high school?

At high school I studied chemistry, maths, economics and art. Then at university I studied natural sciences, specialising in earth sciences. I then did a Masters in carbonate petrology and a PhD on chemical oceanography and past changes in the Southern Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

What outcomes from CARIM do you think there will be?

I hope we can identify the coastal areas around New Zealand that are potentially most at risk of future ocean acidification.

Understanding the effect of ocean acidification on individual marine species, and how these might flow on to the ecosystem in general is one outcome we aim for.

Working with community groups and the public on this will also help to build awareness of the issue. 

What excites you about working on this project?

Working in a multidisciplinary team, all approaching the problem from different perspectives is very educational for everyone involved as we all learn from each other.

The key will be bringing all the data together, as the sum of the results from different sub-projects is much greater than the individual sub-project results.

I am also excited about getting the community and iwi involved, as this will expand the amount of science that the small science team can do, but also help to come up with future management strategies.

 
 

niall Broekhuizen


Job title and place of work

Ecological Modeller, NIWA, Hamilton.

What is your role in the CARIM project? What work package are you contributing to?

RA2 - I am a member of a team who are using the ROMS (Regional Ocean Modelling System) to derive a quantitative understanding of how the pH of the Firth of Thames and Hauraki Gulf has been influenced by changing land-use patterns over the past millennium.

I am also looking at how ongoing climate change will further influence the pH of the system. 

What do you do on an average work day?

My job title is Ecological Modeller. The terms ‘model’ and ‘modeller’ may mean different things to different folks.  In the context of my job description, I consider that a model is the combination of: (a) a formal mathematical description of how key components of some system interact and (b) a computer-code representation of those equations and the methods required to produce solutions to the equations.

An ecological modeller specialises in developing descriptions of how living things interact with their environment. For much of my career, I have focussed upon models of plankton dynamics in the coastal marine environment (especially in relation to shellfish farming and finfish farming). I have also developed models of numerous other types of system (forest insect pests, seabird foraging, organic matter degradation in wastewater treatment plants, invertebrate dynamics in streams). 

Models come in many forms: qualitative verbal descriptions, statistical descriptions derived from examining historical data, dynamical-quasi-mechanistic models
All models are simplified, abstractions of reality.  They focus upon features that are believed to be most relevant to the problem at hand. 

The process of developing a new model involves careful discussion with relevant experts and other interested parties in order to fully understand what questions are going to be put to the model. These questions determine what features the model must be able to yield. In turn, that guides the structure of the model (what building clocks and relationships it will explicitly represent). Having determined an appropriate structure, the modeller then writes a formal mathematical description.

Subsequently, that will be converted to computer-code and embedded within the algorithms that will solve it.  In conjunction with colleagues, the modeller will search for data that will (a) provide inputs to the model, (b) provide means of validating the model (demonstrating that it is (or is not) performing well. Often, suitable data will not be available. In those situations, the modeller may work within a team to design observational- or experimental studies that will yield the requisite data.

The simplest models can be built in a matter of hours, but more complex ones may take months to construct.  Often, the models (and associated experiment/observational programmes) are iteratively refined and/or extended over several years.

Why is studying coastal acidification important?

World-wide, the coastal marine zone accounts for a considerable amount of annual marine primary production.  Marine aquaculture is restricted to the coastal area. At present, in New Zealand it has an annual value of $350 million and aspires to reach $1 billion by 2025. Commercial fisheries catches already have a value of approximately $1 billion (albeit that many of those fish are taken from waters beyond the immediate coastal zone).  

The coastal zone is also a mainstay of New Zealand’s recreation industries and our national identity.  It has been estimated that around 20% of New Zealand’s population participate in recreational fishing.  

The coastal zone carries values beyond those associated with fishing and aquaculture.  Many of those who visit coastal baches or camp-grounds will never throw a hook into the water.  Instead, they find attraction in viewing and/or swimming in clear waters overlying diverse, healthy benthic habitats and supporting lively communities of large fish, marine mammals, seabirds etc.

Whilst it is not clear that coastal acidification will dramatically influence the structure and function of New Zealand’s coastal marine foodweb, there is some evidence to suggest that at least subtle changes may occur. The cultural and financial losses that might arise justify research aimed at quantifying the changes that will arise – as a means of informing debate around mitigation and adaptation

What study did you do at high school? And after high school?

I studied mathematics, physical sciences and biology at secondary school.  My undergraduate degree was in biology (specializing in population modelling). Thereafter, I completed a PhD (studying the population dynamics of a forest insect pest).

After completing my PhD, I took a four year psot-doctoral position where I worked as part of a team building an ecosystem model of the North Sea. My responsibilities were for the zooplankton and fish-growth components.  During the latter part of my Ph.D. and during my post-doctoral work I also took several extra-mural second- and third-level undergraduate courses in mathematics, statistics and computer science to augment what I had covered within my primary university education.

What outcomes from CARIM do you think there will be?

I hope that CARIM will yield an improved understanding of what environmental factors influence coastal water-quality and, in particular, how human-induced activities influence the structure, function and productivity of the coastal marine foodweb.  

I also hope that the outcomes of our work will lead to a well-informed and constructive dialogue regarding both management of our coastal marine zone and adaptation to acidification forced upon us by global climate change.

What excites you about working on this project?

This project provides me with an opportunity to work with an exciting group of people - some of whom are new to me.

The research topic has international relevance and is of economic and social import – as such  we will be required to interact with groups outside our immediate scientific peers.  This is daunting, but past experience has taught me that it is stimulating.

Alternative perspectives can lead to iterative changes to in the nature of the research that is undertaken. This can make more relevant to users’ needs and also findings are rendered more robust.

 
 

CHris Cornelisen


Job title and place of work

Coastal and Freshwater Group Manager- Coastal, Cawthron Institute.

What is your role in the CARIM project? What work package are you contributing to?

I currently oversee a small component of the programme that relates to Kim’s RA (RA1) on ocean acidification monitoring. For this work, Emma Newcombe coordinates the water sampling in Tasman Bay, and Paul Barter is overseeing the gadget components of the TASCAM buoy situated near the mussel farming areas in Tasman Bay. Paul will be working with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute to enable a recently deployed seaPhOx instrument to display data relating to water quality and acidification to the public in real time.

What do you do on an average work day?

I play both the role of a scientist and a manager over the course of a day; I work on a range of projects helping to address problems relating to our coastal waters, and also work with the management team at Cawthron on implementing the Institute’s research and development strategies. I find the science bit more fun than the administrative side of things, but both are important to successfully delivering good science.

Why is studying coastal acidification important?

A lot is unknown about the future role and potential influence of coastal acidification on New Zealand’s marine ecosystems and resources. The ‘here and now’ problems such as pollution are front of mind; however, these need to be understood in light of the compounding effects of acidification, particularly in coastal environments where multiple impacts are occurring.

What study did you do at high school? And after high school?

I studied all sorts of things, and originally was an accounting major - of all things! I eventually came to my senses and followed my passion in marine science. It wasn’t until then that I started really achieving in school. 

What outcomes from CARIM do you think there will be?

I think CARIM will lead to exciting outcomes due to the many research strands feeding into the programme and the wide range of people participating in the project. A particularly important outcome will be a better understanding of where New Zealand’s coastal waters lie on the spectrum with regard to acidification today, and into the future.

What excites you about working on this project?

The new knowledge that will be generated for New Zealand – It’s sort of like filling in the pages of a new book, and not knowing what the chapters will bring.

 
 

Vonda cummings


Job title and place of work

Marine ecologist, NIWA Wellington.

What is your role in the CARIM project? What work package are you contributing to?

RA4: Determine the acclimation potential of iconic species to future coastal acidification.

Through a number of different experiments we will investigate how paua, green lipped mussels (from spat to adults), and young snapper, survive, develop and grow under future predicted levels of ocean pH. 

RA6: Consequences of coastal acidification for key species.

Here we combine what we have learned from the other parts of the project - about paua and green lipped mussels and their responses to OA, about actual and anticipated ocean acidity in different parts of NZ - and use various models to help predict how populations might be affected longer term.

What do you do on an average work day?

I sit (or stand) at my new desk and analyse data from experiments, write up the findings, and write proposals to get funding for more research. I may also get to the OA room where our paua experiments are running, and do some measurements. 

Why is studying coastal acidification important?

So we can be prepared for how our coasts and oceans might function in the future, and we can do as much as possible now to minimise the impacts.

What study did you do at high school? And after high school?

Biology, English and Art. Then a BSc Honours in Zoology at Otago, and a PhD in Biological Sciences at Auckland.

What outcomes from CARIM do you think there will be?

Some major advances in understanding on implications of ocean acidification to NZ coastal ecosystems and the organisms that live there.

What excites you about working on this project?

To be involved in a project with multiple different facets – all of which are geared to improving our understanding of likely impacts. Collaborating with great scientists across the country makes this possible. Also, and importantly, that from the outset this research has been planned to provide information that’s useful and relevant and can help shellfishers and coastal managers.

 
 

KIm currie


Job title and place of work

Marine Chemist, NIWA, Dunedin.

What is your role in the CARIM project? What work package are you contributing to?

I lead RA1, the monitoring component of CARIM.  Work in this RA aims to determine the variability of coastal pH and the carbonate system at 3 sites – Hauraki Gulf, Nelson Bays and Karitane.  The information from this component also informs the perturbation experiments (where we manipulate pH and temperature), and the modelling work we are doing.

We are collecting time-series records of how pH varies, and are also looking at biogeochemical parameters to better understand factors influencing coastal acidification and ecosystem response to coastal acidification.

Permanently mounted sensors provide data on day (diel) and tidal variability of temperature, pH and related measures and capture short term variability due to local events such as riverine input, phytoplankton blooms, and hypoxia (low oxygen levels in the water).

I mainly work at the Karitane site, where we have two moorings – one close to shore in a kelp bed, and the other in 12m of water outside the kelp bed.  There are sensors on the moorings which take measurements every 30 mins, and we visit the site every month to take water samples and to check on the instruments.

I work with staff and students from the Dept of Marine Sciences at the University of Otago, and with local people from the East Otago Taiapure who are also conducting research on the ecology of the area.  The Puketeraki Nga Waka Club, based at the Kati Huirapa Runaka ki Puketeraki at Karitane, also take water samples for us.

We then analyse the samples, maintain the instruments and work up the data.  The data will be available on the website (work in progress). 

What do you do on an average work day?

I don’t really have an “average” day!  Some days I am in the field.  We travel by boat to the field site at Karitane, then I work with the divers to check the instruments and collect water samples.

Back in the chemistry lab, we analyse the samples and clean and maintain the instruments.
In the office I do the calculations, maintain the data base, and write reports and presentations.

I also work with other scientists on CARIM to put my field measurements in context with the experiments that they are going.  

One of the things that I really like about my job is that there is no “average” work day – there is a lot of variety and I use a lot of different skills.

Why is studying coastal acidification important?

The coastal environment is a key part of our ecosystem, and also a key part of our identity as New Zealanders.  Ocean acidification is likely to change this environment, the plants and animals that grow there, the kaimoana we gather, and the industries that are dependent on the environment.  It is important that we understand the changes that are happening, are able to minimise the impacts where possible, and to adapt where necessary.

What study did you do at high school? And after high school?

I studied science at Wakatipu High School, and enjoyed many outdoor activities.  I then went to the University of Otago where I graduated with a BSc(Hons) in Chemistry.  After working for a bit I returned to University to do a PhD in marine chemistry.  I wanted to work in an environmentally important field,and to do a job that had a lot of field work. 

What outcomes from CARIM do you think there will be?

We will have a deeper understanding of the environmental conditions at three key sites, and the drivers that affect the pH in those areas.  We will also know how those those environments are likely to be affected in the future by ocean acidification.  We will also be able to identify which shellfish and other plants and animals are most likely to be resistant to these future impacts.

In addition, our work will help to raise awareness in the general public, coastal communities, aquaculture industries of the issues around ocean acidification.

What excites you about working on this project?

Working with people with different backgrounds, and different skills and different approaches (botanists, geologists, ecologists, modellers, aquaculture experts, local community organisations etc) to investigate the issue of ocean acidification.

 
 

samantha gale


Job title and place of work

Aquaculture Scientist, Cawthron Institute

What is your role in the CARIM project? What work package are you contributing to?

My role in CARIM has been to lead the first part of RA5 ( Selection of coastal species for resilience to low pH) using Greenshell mussels at the Cawthron Aquaculture Park near Nelson. We have just completed the first part of RA5, having spawned and assessed the larvae of 96 pedigreed families of Greenshell mussels incubated in both a control and ~pH 7.6 environment. This was a massive logistical effort involving the careful co-ordination of industry partners, students, volunteers and all of our technicians. The parents of all of the larvae used in this trial have been kept at our facility. Once the larval performance data has been analysed we will be able to determine those families that are most vulnerable or resilient to low pH.

What do you do on an average work day?

Every day is very different here at the aquaculture park and the CARIM projects are really multi-disciplinary. One minute we could be looking after our animals out in the shellfish nursery; the next we could be in our dry labs ensuring our assessment instruments (to measure carbonate) are functioning and calibrated; the next investigating the micro-engineering aspects of creating repeatable carbon dioxide enriched environments.

Why is studying coastal acidification important?

We have very strong evidence that ocean acidification really is happening here in NZ coastal waters. We have a unique coastal seascape of international importance that is utilized, subsisted and has deep cultural importance by the people who live here- with 75% of New Zealanders living within 10kms of the sea( 2006 census). In addition, NZ earns $1.71 billion from seafood exports annually and supports 20,000 jobs here… so understanding the effects of coastal acidification and preparing for it are essential.

What study did you do at high school? And after high school?

At high school in the UK I completed A levels in Biology, Chemistry and Geography and entered a degree in Environmental Biology. I specialised in plant biology and conservation through my MSc and PhD. Following my PhD I travelled to NZ and fell in love with its stunning environment and the pursuit of outdoor adventure. I was fortunate enough to gain employment with the Cawthron Institute in 2008 and have been here ever since! 

What outcomes from CARIM do you think there will be?

We are going to discover a huge amount about how populations of these key iconic species respond specifically to forecast carbonate environments (i.e. ocean acidification scenarios); from cell function to broad-reaching ecological function.  But I also think we will be discovering key basic biology that will help us to understand the other pressures on our coastal environment, the other stressors such as pollution and sea surface warming and most importantly the consequence of these stressors in combination. 

What excites you about working on this project?

I have really enjoyed working on this project, I think what really excites me is that there are so many types of people working together to understand a problem; shellfish farmers, marine scientists, seawater chemists, engineers, public communicators, artists – I think CARIM is a pioneer of a new generation of science projects. I really like it that such an effort is being made to engage, involve and communicate to the community. 

 
 

mark gall


Job title and place of work

Scientist. Marine Biogeochemist. NIWA, Wellington.

What is your role in the CARIM project? What work package are you contributing to?

RA3 – I am involved in the design, sampling and analysis of large scale mesocosm experiments (4,000 L test tubes) to determine the effects of temperature and pH on natural planktonic (free floating micro-organisms) populations. In particular, I manage the implementation of a novel experimental system called the Mesocosm Automated Flow Through System (MAFTS). MAFTS pumps water 24/7 through several instruments and is used to track hourly changes over the duration of the experiment [nutrients – nitrate, optical properties of the water (beam attenuation), salinity, temperature, pH, oxygen, turbidity, coloured dissolved organic matter, chlorophyll, and phytoplankton photosynthetic characteristic]. Each mesocosm also has light sensors deployed top and bottom to monitor changes in sunlight, sediment traps to assess material falling out of the water column, and strips to monitor growth on the inside of each bag.

What do you do on an average work day?

I bike to work, recover, then juggle the backlog of data to be analysed and processed in cunning and mysterious ways. This typically involves using a statistical and graphically programming language called ‘R’ (or sometimes Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!). The challenge is to masticate data into a palatable form that is easy to analyse and plot effectively for scientific endeavours.  I specialise in optical water quality (water colour and clarity - aquatic optics, ocean colour) and the link to the water column components (phytoplankton, suspended sediment, coloured dissolved organic matter).

Why is studying coastal acidification important?

Man, impact, consequences! One consequence is a predicted increase in ocean acidification due to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels dissolving into the water. The coastal ocean is a crucial and sensitive habitat of high ecological and resource value, and we are uncertain of responses to ocean acidification. Researching the effects of coastal acidification on sensitive organisms (micro- and macro-scopic) will assist in assessing impacts and improving knowledge for future planning and mitigation options. 

What study did you do at high school? And after high school?

I was mainly interested in sciences and technical drawing at school. I was initially unsure what I wanted to do in my first year at Massey University (Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Physiology?) and kept my options open. I ended up completing a BSc and MSc in Biochemistry. My MSc involved using ‘pigs’ as a model for humans, researching the digestion and physiological effects of heated foods. This is a bit different from how my science career has ended up in more liquid environs! 

What outcomes from CARIM do you think there will be?

Improve and communicate knowledge in ecosystem resilience to higher temperature and lower pH conditions. In particular how does the planktonic (phytoplankton and zooplankton) community respond, and what might be the food chain consequences of this. This will help guide implications on future resource management.

What excites you about working on this project?

New knowledge and experience. Being part of an inter-disciplinary team and approach to real-world problems. Science is always challenging, particularly with the integration of technology to environmental monitoring. New methods, techniques and instruments are constantly evolving, allowing monitoring in unprecedented detail in space and time. The CARIM mesocosm experiments provide the opportunity to implement new methods and track changes in time under tightly controlled conditions, something that is difficult (or nearly impossible) in its natural, spatially variable state.   

 
 

mark hadfield


Job title and place of work

Marine Physics Modeller, NIWA Wellington

What is your role in the CARIM project? What work package are you contributing to?

RA2

My colleague Helen MacDonald and I are using models of coastal and ocean physical processes (currents, heating and cooling, river input, rainfall and evaporation) that also represent biological processes (plankton growth and decay) and chemical processes (nutrients, oxygen and carbon dioxide). We are applying these to Hauraki Gulf and Firth of Thames to investigate coastal acidification.

What do you do on an average work day?

I run models on a supercomputer and produce graphs and movies of the results. Sometime (but not very often) I compare the model results with measurements. In the model results you can see lots of cool stuff like up-welling of cool, nutrient-rich waters, river flood events, bursts of plankton growth and the constant exchange of water between the eddies in the deep ocean and the continental shelf.

Why is studying coastal acidification important?

It's one significant stressor on our marine environment.

What study did you do at high school? And after high school?

I always loved physics. It was my favourite subject at high school and I majored in it at university. Also a bit of mathematics, chemistry, geology, biology and environmental science. I did my PhD in Atmospheric Physics in Colorado and moved to studying ocean physical processes after that.

What outcomes from CARIM do you think there will be?

A better understanding of coastal acidification rates in New Zealand and contributing factors, in part from the models we will produce.

What excites you about working on this project?

It's another opportunity to use our ability to represent the complicated processes of water movement and exchange and relate them to biological processes. But it's the physics that excites me.

 
 
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chris hepburn


Job title and place of work

Senior Lecturer, University of Otago. 

What is your role in the CARIM project? What work package are you contributing to?

I provide practical support for maintaining the CARIM moorings at the Huriawa Peninsula at Karitane, just north of Dunedin and help supervise students on the programme.

What do you do on an average work day?

Go to the office and send emails, give lectures, go diving in kelp forests all around the country.  It all depends - my job is very diverse and very few days are the same.

Why is studying coastal acidification important?

Because coastal seas are important, and ocean acidification could be a major stressor for key species that support many values associated with our marine environment.

What study did you do at high school? And after high school?

I played a lot of basketball at school and tried to avoid class.  I was pretty good at English and Biology but was an average student and a very poor mathematician and chemist.  At University I studied Botany, an excellent and underrated degree I think. 

What outcomes from CARIM do you think there will be?

Long term monitoring of pH in coastal seas and other aspects of the CARIM programme will answer many questions around what our marine environment will look like in 50 to 100 years.

What excites you about working on this project?

The opportunity to work with leading chemists like Kim Currie who have great practical experience and are good to work with. Our ability to work underwater and provide the biological and ecological side of the story is massively improved with precise measurements of the chemical and physical environment. The team within CARIM brings together people with very different skill sets, this is the way science is done today. 

 
 

zoe hilton


Job title and place of work

Research scientist at Cawthron Institute.

What is your role in the CARIM project? What work package are you contributing to?

I’m an ecophysiologist, working on RA 4 and 5, working on Greenshell mussels (GSM). 

We’ll also be contributing to RA 3 work on GSM larvae in mesocosms.

I’m helping with all of the experiments around screening mussel families from the selective breeding programme to see how much variation exists in the species that may allow them to adapt to ocean acidification. I’m also working on experiments investigating the mechanisms that cause resilience or susceptibility to ocean acidification, and investigating the inter-generational effects of ocean acidification. 

What do you do on an average work day?

Designing experiments, running experiments in the lab, analysing data, writing papers and communicating the results to stakeholders like the mussel industry and the public. 

Why is studying coastal acidification important?

It’s SO important. Coastal acidification may have major impacts on the functioning of our coastal ecosystems and our ability to grow and harvest seafood. It’s really important that we work out what is likely to happen, how these species and ecosystems may be affected and what we can do to avoid negative effects if possible. 

What study did you do at high school? And after high school?

At high school, I did lots of music, Spanish, biology, calculus, chemistry, English.

After high school I did a student exchange to Costa Rica for 1 year, did volunteer work on leatherback turtles, worked in Wellington for one year to save money and then went to uni in Auckland. I did a BA in Spanish and Latin American studies and a BSc in Marine science, then an Honours degree in Biological Science. I really enjoyed doing research so I went on to do a PhD  looking at physiology and evolution in a family of NZ coastal fish species

What outcomes from CARIM do you think there will be?

Through our work we hope to discover whether these key, iconic NZ species will be able to evolve to handle the challenges of increased ocean acidification over the likely time-scales they will face. The wider project will give us an idea of the rates and time-scales involved.   This will tell us whether these animals and plants will have the capacity to adapt to an acidifying environment, or whether they will be unlikely to be able to cope. This should help inform what we can do to mitigate the effects of rising carbon dioxide on our marine environment and protect these ecosystems and the environment for future generations.  Another big part of the CARIM programme is the outreach, so as well as the science giving us interesting outcomes, I hope that one of the big outcomes is a better informed public so that people understand what is happening, and what they can do about it! 

What excites you about working on this project?

The scientific questions and the techniques that we’re using to answer them are exciting, but the thing that most excites me about this project is the chance to create new knowledge and get it out to a wide audience so that people can be more informed about what we’re doing to our environment, and how we can better care for and protect our coastal ecosystems for the future.  

 
 

NICK king


Job title and place of work

Senior Scientist-Marine Aquaculture, Cawthron Institute.

What is your role in the CARIM project? What work package are you contributing to?

I’m working with Norman and the team on RA5 looking at how our coastal species will adapt to the changing environment. My role is to design and build systems for manipulating the seawater environment, mixing together engineering, biology and chemistry. I’m also helping understand the role of genetics: are all shellfish created equal?

What do you do on an average work day?

My day is as varied as my role. It ranges from building and programming gas mixing systems through to creating mating designs for breeding trials. Problem solving, working with big datasets, and thinking about ways to maximise the value we get from our experiments. Oh, and playing with tiny swimming shellfish larvae.  

Why is studying coastal acidification important?

Our coastline is one of the things that defines New Zealand and we rely on it for all sorts of things. We need to understand how global scale oceanic changes will impact on our local environment. If we’re proactive, we can respond to these changes, rather than waiting and dealing with the consequences. 

What study did you do at high school? And after high school?

I studied the sciences (biology, chemistry, physics, maths) at high school. When I got home from school, I loved taking things apart to see how they worked! At university, I was seduced by the complexity of biology, and focused on zoology. For my MSc, I studied the impact of an antifouling toxin on the marine environment and especially its effects on shellfish. This was a real mix of biology, chemistry and marine science, a lot like CARIM. 

What outcomes from CARIM do you think there will be?

I think we’ll have a much better idea of where the future problems will be, and where we should focus our efforts. Is New Zealand going to be affected more or less than other countries? Can we make our aquaculture industries more resilient? Can we help our Pacific neighbours? 

What excites you about working on this project?

I like the idea that we are helping piece together the ocean acidification jigsaw. Even though NZ is small, we can make a significant and unique contribution to this global issue. I love the multidisciplinary approach, where we need to connect knowledge from many different fields. Studying the seas is fascinating; it’s so complex!

 
 

miles lamare


Job title and place of work

Associate Professor, Department of Marine Science, University of Otago.

What is your role in the CARIM project? What work package are you contributing to?

RA04, RA05

Most marine species have a planktonic larval stage that must settle onto the sea floor and metamorphose into the the young animal.  This settlement process is therefore a key part of the lifecycle of marine animals, so we need to know if ocean acidification will affect the process.

I am contributing to understanding how ocean acidification may alter or inhibit settlement of marine species, including Paua, Greenshell mussel and a range of other key invertebrates (i.e. polychaetes, sea urchins, barnacles).  This will include examining if larval settlement behaviour changes under ocean acidifcation, or if changes in the substrate they are settling on result in altered settlement.

This is important, as altered settlement may result in lower recruitment or animals settling in unsuitable habitats.

What do you do on an average work day?

I work at a marine lab, and spend much of my day collecting and spawning marine animals, rearing their larval stages and examining their responses to various environmental conditions.  This is done by designing and running experiments on marine animals that test questions I am interested in finding out the answer for.  For example, if I am interested in knowing how ocean acidification may affect settlement of Paua, I experiment by raising Paua larvae in normal seawater and in sea water that is like the future acidified oceans.  I then look at how well they settle to see if there are any differences between normal larvae and those raised in future conditions.  If there are, we might conclude ocean acidification may alter future settlement of Paua, and perhaps the size and distributions of Paua along our coast.

As I work in a university, while I undertake my own research, I also teach and train students in how to study marine animals and run experiments.

Why is studying coastal acidification important?

Ocean acidifcation, along with ocean warming will fundamentally change the type of ocean we have in the future.  All organisms will be faced with more acidic and warmer oceans - conditions which could alter key biological processes in marine species such as growing shells, reproducing, and maintaining good health.  It could ultimately mean some species may become rare or even disappear from certain habitats.  We are still learning how ocean acidification will affect species, and what species or stages of their lifecycles might be most affected by climate change.

What study did you do at high school? And after high school?

Timaru Boys High School – Biology, Mathematics, Economic.  At University I studied Geology, Zoology and Botany as an undergraduate, and Marine Science for my PhD.  After that, I studied marine invertebrate larval ecology at the University of Washington, USA.

What outcomes from CARIM do you think there will be?

The CARIM project is an opportunity to increase our understanding of how New Zealand marine species will respond to future ocean acidification.

It will identify how much New Zealand waters will acidify, and the degree that our endemic species will be affected by changes in the local environment.  It will show what species might be most vulnerable to ocean acidification, where and why.

What excites you about working on this project?

The chance to work with researchers from around New Zealand that specialise in different aspects of marine science including chemists, algal biologists, microbiologists and modellers.  

Also, ocean acidification is an extremely important process to examine as it will affect New Zealand ecologically, economically, and socially.  Our research will be a great benefit to all New Zealanders, so it is exciting to be involved.

 
 

helen macdonald


Job title and place of work

Regional Ocean Modelling System (ROMS) Numerical Modeller at NIWA, Wellington.

What is your role in the CARIM project? What work package are you contributing to?

I am contributing to Research Area 2: Sources and seasonality of low pH and carbonate in the Hauraki Gulf

In this research area I am working on building models that can be used to represent interactions in the ocean between the physical processes (such as water movement), the biological processes (such as growth of microscopic organisms) and the chemical processes (such as exchanges of gases between the ocean and the atmosphere).

What do you do on an average work day?

On an average work day I will use a supercomputer to test, run and develop the models that we need in this project. I will also visualise and analyse the output from these models. One of the great things about working with the numerical models that I use is that I can create some interesting and informative movies of the processes occurring in the ocean.

Why is studying coastal acidification important?

Atmospheric carbon dioxide gets absorbed into the oceans. Any increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide increases the carbon in the oceans, making them more acidic. This can have an effect on biological processes in the ocean as some species struggle in the new acidic environment. The models developed in this project will help predict and inform us on these changes which will give us a better chance to mitigate and adapt to the changes.

What study did you do at high school? And after high school?

I studied science and mathematics subjects in high school. At university I continued to study science and mathematics related topics but these subjects became less broad and more focused on numerical modelling and scientific processes in the ocean.

What outcomes from CARIM do you think there will be?

One outcome that we are going to achieve under this project will be the creation of some biogeochemical models. This will enable us to calculate biogeochemical budgets and give insight into the factors driving ocean acidification. There will be, however, plenty of other positive outcomes that are achieved as a side-effects of these goals. In particular, the models that we create within this project can be used for a wide range of oceanic applications from the scale of the Hauraki Gulf to the whole of New Zealand.

What excites you about working on this project?

Studying complex interactions between all different parts of the marine system from the ocean currents to the biological processes.

 
 

victoria metcalf

Job title and place of work

Scientist and science communicator, Curiosity Communications Ltd.

I also hold a separate role as National Coordinator, Participatory Science in the Office of the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor.

What is your role in the CARIM project? What work package are you contributing to?

RA7 Leader, Engagement and Outreach. I manage the engagement  aspects of what we do in CARIM, including running social media platforms, this website, and working with a range of people to look at ways to share what we are doing in CARIM and help inform people about ocean acidification.

What do you do on an average work day?

Research new popular media and scientific outputs as well as current CARIM happenings that I can share via our CARIM social media channels. This is so that people have a better understanding of ocean acidification and other ocean threats, and how CARIM is working towards better scientific understanding. I also work on website content, by collating and writing about material I've been provided from members of our CARIM team to share the work we are doing in an easy to understand manner. I also solicit new material for the website and social media from our team.

I think about ways to generate other content (e.g. material for schools) on what we are doing and work with others to create that content.

Why is studying coastal acidification important?

Ocean acidification is a major threat for our marine ecosystems. Coastal acidification has been little studied, but due to its connection to what happens in land environments and as a place where important marine species live requires much better understanding. Our coastal species are likely to be impacted by coastal acidification, so it's important to learn much more about rates and consequences.

What study did you do at high school? And after high school?

Biology, Chemistry, English, Latin and Maths. After High School I decided to study Sciences at university and discovered genetics and biochemistry and was mesmerised. I did a BSc(Hons) in Biochemistry and then went on a fabulous journey to do a PhD on the molecular evolution of a major blood protein on a whole range of species, including Antarctic fish.

I secured a scholarship to Antarctica near the end of my PhD, which gave me a month on an eco-tourism ship. That led to years of research, mainly on Antarctic fish and shellfish, including ocean acidification research. And alongside that a growing interest in science communication and public engagement.

What outcomes from CARIM do you think there will be?

I think that we will make a tangible difference to understanding of ocean acidification and management of it as a threat, both within New Zealand and internationally. In addition, there will be much greater awareness of ocean acidification across New Zealanders.

Hopefully the outcomes will also include identifying adaptation possibilities within our target species. 

What excites you about working on this project?

The ocean acidification research community in New Zealand is a highly collaborative group of people, good at all doing their part to contribute to a large research project. I really enjoy working with this team and aiding them in sharing their results more broadly.

This is an important and worthwhile project to be contributing to, and its multidisciplinary approach is one of its strengths.

 

 

 
 

sara milakoff-fletcher


Job title and place of work

Atmospheric and Ocean Scientist, NIWA. 

What is your role in the CARIM project? What work package are you contributing to?

I’ll be contributing to RA2, Sources and Seasonality of low pH and carbonate in the Hauraki Gulf.  My role is to develop mathematical algorithms that will help link the measurements being made in the Hauraki Gulf with the high resolution modelling of this region.  This will allow us to produce high spatial resolution, seasonally varying maps of carbonates in the Hauraki Gulf, giving scientists and policy makers an idea of the range of conditions organisms in this region already experience.  It will shed new light on the ability of organisms in the New Zealand region to adapt to ocean acidification.  If successful, it could be an important part of a future mitigation strategy, providing rapid information about change in the region. Once proven in the Hauraki Gulf, it could also be adapted and used in other regions of interest.

What do you do on an average work day?

This is a tough one, since I have a broad research portfolio that includes estimating the amount of carbon our forests and other land regions are absorbing, exploring how Southern Ocean carbon uptake is changing, and investigating how much ocean acidification has already impacted the New Zealand region… and how much it may impact our region in the future.  My work changes a lot from day to day, but here are five things I do almost every day:   

  1. Write and run computer programmes that model the atmosphere or ocean or analyse atmospheric or oceanic data with statistical methods.   
  2. Create beautiful and complex graphics to help visualise and understand model simulations and data. 
  3. Write an email to a colleague living overseas to discuss a research idea or project. 
  4. Have a stimulating discussion with people from at least four different countries, right here at NIWA in Wellington.
  5. Drink an alarming amount of coffee. 

Why is studying coastal acidification important?

Ocean acidification is likely to impact all ocean habitats, but coastal regions are especially vulnerable because runoff from land regions can exacerbate acidification.  While we are impacting coastal areas with carbon dioxide emissions and land management practices, coastal ecosystems are among the ocean ecosystems that impact us the most directly.  These regions are home to many commercial fisheries and species of ecological or cultural significance to New Zealand. 

What study did you do at high school? And after high school?

In high school, I loved art, creative writing, literature, and arguing about politics with my friends.  I always did well in maths and science, and took the most advanced courses offered at my school, but I imagined that I would end up as a novelist or artist.  It wasn’t until I took my first science courses at university that I discovered a real passion for science.  By the end of my first year at university, I had decided to major in Chemistry, a decision I’ve never regretted.   

What outcomes from CARIM do you think there will be?

For the first time, we will have a clear picture of how variable pH is in coastal waters around New Zealand and how quickly acidification is occurring in our coastal waters.  Then, we will come together as a research community to understand what that means for marine species that are ecologically, economically, and culturally important to New Zealand.    

What excites you about working on this project?

I’m excited about the opportuntity to work on an interdisciplinary team with some of the best scientists in New Zealand to tackle a major threat to coastal ecosystems.      

 
 

Wendy nelson


Job title and place of work

Programme Leader, Biological Resources, Coasts & Oceans National Centre, NIWA; Professor, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland

What is your role in the CARIM project? What work package are you contributing to?

I am a phycologist – someone who specialises in studying marine macroalgae or seaweeds – and I am contributing to RA 4 along with Brenton Twist (PhD student – funded through MPI biodiversity project). We are particularly focusing on coralline algae – red seaweeds that have calcium carbonate in their cell walls, and are therefore vulnerable to the impacts of ocean acidification. We are collaborating with Miles Lamare and Chris Hepburn at the University of Otago with research based at Karitane, north Otago.

Coralline algae are major components of reefs from the tropics to the polar regions, and they are important in supporting and stabilising reef structures, provide habitat for a wide range of other marine species, as well as releasing settlement cues for invertebrate larvae.

Baseline information in New Zealand is very limited as far as how many and which coralline algae occur, where they are found. Also, if they are characteristic of certain habitat types, and if they are associated with particular species assemblages.

Evaluating fundamental relationships and gathering baseline information becomes increasingly important in the face of ocean acidification, which could have negative impacts on coralline algae, and in turn have flow on effects to the entire reef ecosystem.

 

What do you do on an average work day?

There is no such thing as an average day!! – sometimes I am in the field, carrying out observations, gathering data, making collections of samples to study back in the lab. I also work in the lab looking at specimens, making measurements, and comparing and analysing results. Other times I am at my desk writing, preparing reports.

Why is studying coastal acidification important?

Coastal acidification has the potential to have significant impacts on a wide range of coastal activities. This research will help us understand possible impacts on key ecosystem processes and, in the case of my part of the project, the links between coralline algae, paua larvae and recruitment.

What study did you do at high school? And after high school?

I focused on science subjects from about year 11 onwards (biology, chemistry, physics and maths) with english and french. After high school I went to the University of Auckland for 3 years majoring in both botany and zoology, and then I did an Honours year at Victoria University of Wellington with Botany as my major but also with marine ecology. I then went to Canada to the University of British Columbia to do a PhD in Botany – it was a centre for research on all aspects of algal biology, ecology and physiology, as well as oceanography – so it was a great place to study. 

What outcomes from CARIM do you think there will be?

Data that will help New Zealand understand probable impacts of changing ocean conditions – from citizens through to government decision makers, aquaculture and fisheries industries - and enable us to plan more effectively for the future.

What excites you about working on this project?

This project is gathering data from such a variety of sources, and enabling scientists with different skills and strengths in a wide range of disciplines to work together and tackle difficult science questions that are important to our communities.

 
 

Emma newcombe


Job title and place of work

Marine Ecology - Coastal Monitoring and Research, Cawthron Institute, Nelson.

What is your role in the CARIM project? What work package are you contributing to?

RA1. Variability of coastal pH and the carbonate system.
I’m responsible for deployment of sensors and collection of water samples in Tasman Bay.

What do you do on an average work day?

I work on a lot of different projects. I work with councils to help them make decisions about how to manage their marine environments. I also help communicate information about the marine environment to the public. I’m also working with iwi on ways to rebuild important populations of kaimoana. I’m often out in Tasman Bay diving and collecting data to measure the effects of aquaculture and other activity, and also doing work for the CARIM project.

Why is studying coastal acidification important?

It’s so important be able to understand what is happening at a range of scales. You can’t understand everything about your local area without looking at what is happening around the country, and around the world. 

What study did you do at high school? And after high school?

At school I was into English, art and photography, and didn’t study science past fifth form (year 11). After I got my BA in English Literature I worked in publishing and marketing, but after five years decided to go back and study marine sciences.

What outcomes from CARIM do you think there will be?

The OA work will provide information on large-scale (big picture) change, which will be important in a lot of the small-scale work we do. That’s why it is great to be able to contribute to this work. 

What excites you about working on this project?

The results from this project will be relevant to nearly every aspect of marine health and management that I work on. The results will be useful for a whole range of people for whom the marine environment is important, but in general those people wouldn’t be able to address questions about ocean acidification themselves, because of the scale of research required. 

 
 

lisa northcote


Job title and place of work

Geology technician, NIWA

What is your role in the CARIM project? What work package are you contributing to?

RA3—providing support for the filtering team and doing a whole lot of filtering myself.

What do you do on an average work day?

My average day is fairly variable as I am the sole lab tech for the Geology group as well as being available to help out other scientists, like Cliff Law. Typically, I am analysing marine sediment for for grain size and carbonate content, but I also work on foraminiferal (a type of plankton) assemblages, which can be used as proxies for climate change.

Why is studying coastal acidification important?

I think the impacts of climate change will have big impacts on future generations, especially for food gathering, but also coastal erosion as reef-building species could be compromised. Increasing our understanding of the resilience of some species to decreased pH and increased temperature is important for future generations.

What study did you do at high school? And after high school?

At high school my favorite subject was biology - consequently my BSc was in Botany and Ecology. My husband and I moved around a lot, so I started my degree at SFU in British Columbia, took a ten-year break and started up my studies again while we were living in New York, finishing my degree at VUW.

What outcomes from CARIM do you think there will be?

More understanding of how marine organisms relate to changes in pH and temperature.

What excites you about working on this project?

I love working as part of a team. It’s a bit like going to sea, without getting seasick!

 
 

darren parsons


Job title and place of work

Marine Ecologist, NIWA.

What is your role in the CARIM project? What work package are you contributing to?

My work is part of RA4: “Acclimation potential of key species to future coastal acidification”. Within this RA package I will be conducting tank experiments on snapper larvae, to see how they respond to acidified conditions. Often the responses to these types of experiments are not immediately obvious. Instead we might see differences in behaviour or energetics of the larvae we expose to acidified conditions. These seemingly subtle response can have large consequences, however.

What do you do on an average work day?

My work is quite varied, so on a typical day I could be deploying cameras to understand why juvenile fish are attracted to nursery habitats, diving in commercial ports to find invasive species, conducting a fisheries survey from a large trawler, or organising tank experiments to investigate the effects of acidification larval fish (that’s the part that’s relevant to CARIM). A large amount of my time, however, is office based where I will be keeping up to date with the latest scientific research, analysing fishery or survey data and finally putting all of this information together in a report.

Why is studying coastal acidification important?

Ocean acidification (and climate change in general) is a large scale stressor, so in some way will affect most processes occurring in the sea around us. Understanding how these impacts will play out is therefore really important so we can lessen their effect.

What study did you do at high school? And after high school?

I focused on science subjects at high school (e.g. biology, chemistry, statistics, calculus etc…). At university I continued this theme, starting out with a range of science courses (geology, chemistry, biology, statistics), and gradually focussing more specifically on marine biology. By the time I was a graduate student my studies were focussed on one particular aspect of one species.

What outcomes from CARIM do you think there will be?

Difficult to say at this early stage, but overall the CARIM project should provide a detailed description of the pH environment around New Zealand and start to identify the types of responses some species will have as this environment becomes more acidic. My work focuses on snapper, which is a highly valued coastal fish species, so understanding whether an iconic species such as this will be impacted is really important.

What excites you about working on this project?

CARIM represents a unique opportunity for a large group of researchers from a range of institutions to focus on a topic that is of high importance to New Zealand. It’s this applied focus on what’s best for NZ inc. that excites me. 

 
 
Norman Ragg

Norman Ragg

Norman ragg

Job title and place of work

Research Scientist (aquaculture and physiology), Cawthron Institute, Nelson

What is your role in the CARIM project? What work package are you contributing to?

I lead Research Aim 5 (or RA5: Selection of coastal species for resilience to low pH); I am a key researcher in both RA4 and 5.

My broad role is to apply high resolution biological tools to provide a deeper practical understanding of health and performance in commercially valuable shellfish. For CARIM this involves integrating my work with the selective breeding of Greenshell mussels and laboratory methods to better understand the specific effects of coastal acidification changes.

My focus here is upon the performance of larvae and the energy investment choices made by growing juvenile and adult mussels. The story is completed by exploring  what we call ‘trans-generational resilience’. This is where we go beyond Darwinian evolutionary theory and explore the potential for breeding mussels that have been exposed to coastal acidification stress to then impart resilience to their offspring.

 

What do you do on an average work day?

This is a rapidly evolving job, to cope with a rapidly changing world… there is no average day. In spring you might find me working in the shellfish hatchery, studying fertilization (the genesis of life) and the critical first few hours of development in the unprotected embryos.

By autumn I may have followed the growing shellfish to a point where individuals can be handled safely, moving them into the physiology lab to study metabolic performance and feeding.

The rewards and frustrations of data analysis are a big part of my life, culminating in the most critical step: interpreting and communicating findings to our commercial, environmental and community stakeholders.

Why is studying coastal acidification important?

Understanding ocean acidification is critical for our role within the global community; however, coastal acidification research specifically explores the challenges and opportunities in our own back yard.

The coastal environment is, by definition, influenced by the land it surrounds. Understanding coastal acidification dynamics and the implications for key ecological and commercial species allows us to make informed, proactive management decisions – not only about the way we operate within the coastal zones, but also the catchment areas that influence those zones.

What study did you do at high school? And after high school?

I didn’t do well in the constrained learning environment of high school. However the academic freedom of university suited me very well. I followed my passion, studying marine biology at the university of Wales. I  then turned this learning into practical research skills, completing a master’s degree in commercial shellfish biology.

This subsequently spring-boarded me into a career in aquaculture research. A desire to learn more about the detailed functioning of the animals I studied eventually led me to NZ and a PhD studying the physiology of the magnificent pāua.  

What outcomes from CARIM do you think there will be?

This is an innovative, multi-disciplinary programme that explores uncharted research questions. It is far too soon to guess what we might find.

What we will NOT do is simply present another hopeless image of the future. A key component of the CARIM programme will be to emphasise the options available to allow adaptation, mitigation and management of acidification in the coastal zone.

What excites you about working on this project?

The programme is holistic. For the kai moana species we focus on, the project examines the entire life cycle and the food chains that support them.

Shellfish are not treated as passive victims to a changing environment - rather we will specifically learn from their ability to adapt and to evolve. All of this requires a world-class, multidisciplinary team working in close collaboration using cutting-edge techniques.

Who wouldn’t be excited by that?

 
 

mary sewell

Job title and place of work

Associate Professor, University of Auckland.

What is your role in the CARIM project? What work package are you contributing to?

RA1, RA4 and RA5.

My major role is co-ordinating the pH monitoring in the Firth of Thames, relationships with Firth of Thames iwi, and in the biological area using new –omics technologies (transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics) to determine the impacts of ocean acidification on mussels and paua at the molecular/biochemical level.

What do you do on an average work day?

As a university lecturer many of my days are spent teaching undergraduates – giving lectures, laboratories and taking students on field trips – and supervising a large number of graduate students who work with me on a wide-range of topics in marine biology, including in the area of climate change.  

Why is studying coastal acidification important?

We still have a limited understanding of the relative importance of carbon dioxide derived from the atmosphere and carbon dioxide derived from the decomposition of land-based material in contributing to coastal acidification.  The instruments that we are using in CARIM also allow us to measure the hourly, daily and seasonal changes in pH – this is very exciting to me.

What study did you do at high school? And after high school?

At school I did basic Maths, English, Sciences (Biology, Physics, Chemistry), with some Geography, and Japanese.  After High School I did a BSc and MSc in Zoology at the University of Auckland, then a PhD at the University of Alberta in Canada.

What outcomes from CARIM do you think there will be?

I think we will have a better understanding of the pH environment around New Zealand, and the physiological responses of the focal species to ocean acidification.  These data will underpin the development of management responses to ocean acidification and how New Zealand responds to the threats of climate change.

What excites you about working on this project?

Working with such a great team of scientists from across New Zealand in a multi-disciplinary project.

 
 
IMG_3222_Zeldis_515_515.jpg

john zeldis


Job title and place of work

Principal Scientist Marine Ecology, NIWA, Christchurch.

What is your role in the CARIM project? What work package are you contributing to?

Leader Biogeochemical modelling - Work Package RA2

I lead the Research Aim which is building a variety of models that describe acidification in coastal waters. We intend that as well as understanding the present situation, our modelling will enable us to make predictions about what might happen in the future.

 

What do you do on an average work day?

I have been building a model which describes the ‘when’, ‘where’ and ‘why’ of coastal acidification in the Hauraki Gulf and Firth of Thames. The model uses oceanographic data we have collected during NIWA ship surveys in the Hauraki Gulf, combined with water quality data from rivers from regional councils and NIWA.    

Why is studying coastal acidification important?

In many parts of the world, the pH of coastal waters is decreasing (worsening) at a much faster rate than it is in the open ocean. Acidification can be stressful for marine animals and plants that rely on carbonate structures for shell-making, and even for those that don’t, such as larval fish. This is serious because so many important elements of natural marine ecosystems exist in coasts, including many of the resources we use.       

What study did you do at high school? And after high school?

In high school I studied English, Spanish and all branches of science. At University I concentrated on sciences, but I still dabbled in stuff like Russian literature and anthropology.

What outcomes from CARIM do you think there will be?

I think we will understand a lot more about what causes coastal acidification, and what we might be able to do about it. We also will learn about what effects it is having now, and could have in the future, on some important elements of the marine ecosystem. 

What excites you about working on this project?

I get to use what I’ve learned over many years of doing marine research, to hopefully ‘make a difference’ in the health of our marine environment.