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