Dr Alastair J M Lough
My research interest focuses on the biogeochemical cycling of metals in the marine environment. Specifically, how the supply of metals can both fertilize the oceans as vital nutrients for algae growth and also cause metal toxicity. There are currently large uncertainties associated with the supply and removal of Fe from the ocean which hinders our ability to predict the drawdown of atmospheric CO2 by ocean productivity in ~50 % of the global ocean. My scientific approach to understanding marine biogeochemistry is to use cutting edge microscopy and isotope methods to study the input of metals to the ocean from geological sources, the goal being to understand how the supply of metals (such as Fe) to the ocean controls primary productivity and how this may change in a warming world.
Specifically my work largely revolves around understanding the exchange of metals between seawater and particle plumes. I have worked on plumes generated by natural processes such as hydrothermal vents and resuspension of marine sediment. I am currently researching the impact of mining deep sea manganese nodules on ocean biogeochemistry and the associated deep ocean ecosystem.
My research is linked to the international GEOTRACES programme, an international effort to understand processes that control trace element concentrations and their isotope ratios in the ocean.
- BSc Environmental Geology
- MSc Geochemistry
- PhD Ocean and Earth Sciences
Research groups and institutes
- Cohen Geochemistry
- Earth Surface Science Institute