Rebecca Wright

Senior Research Associate

I am working as a Senior Research Associate on the SONATA project (Southern Ocean optimal Approach To Assess the carbon state, variability and climatic drivers). I work with a series of new hindcast ocean model simulations developed specifically to reproduce the effects of observed variability in underlying processes and drivers of the Southern Ocean carbon sink. These models are analysed, along with oceanic data-based estimates, to identify the trends and climatic drivers of the Southern Ocean carbon sink.

The Southern Ocean is one of the most important and poorly understood components of the global carbon cycle. It is the largest oceanic sink of anthropogenic carbon dioxide, having captured half of all human-related carbon that has entered the ocean to date. As a major knowledge gap and a central player in global carbon and climate dynamics, the Southern Ocean carbon system is regularly singled out as the Achilles’ heel of the Earth system models upon which humankind relies to understand contemporary climate change, predict its future evolution, and define international climate policy.

I completed my PhD in 2019 on the role of gelatinous zooplankton in marine ecosystems and the carbon cycle, based at the University of East Anglia. Alongside my SONATA role, I am pursuing some lines of research that emerged from my PhD project around the role of gelatinous zooplankton in the carbon cycle and the combined influence of fishing and climate on marine ecosystems.