Meghan Duffy is a PhD candidate using geochemical and microfossil records from a Southern Ocean sedimentary archive to reconstruct changes in marine productivity and oceanographic conditions over the last 1.3 million years. The data from the Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean will then be compared with East Antarctic ice core records to study broader connections between Southern Hemisphere climate and Southern Ocean productivity.
Studying changes in Southern Ocean productivity through time will help improve our understanding of larger biogeochemical cycles and the potential for carbon sequestration via the biological pump. The Southern Ocean remains a high-nutrient, low-chlorophyll zone with high potential for increased productivity. Understanding how this system operates over long timescales helps to predict its future behaviour under variable climate conditions.