Research Interest Dr. Maren Zark
My research interests concern the effects of ocean acidification on the processing, cycling, and structure of dissolved organic matter (DOM). Since preindustrial times, atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is released to the atmosphere by human fossil fuel emissions. About half of this CO2 is absorbed by the world’s oceans where it forms carbonic acids and ultimately leads to ocean acidification. This in earth’s history comparatively rapid change in seawater chemistry has potential impacts on the dissolved organic carbon pool that is stored in seawater. The total amount of DOM in the oceans is higher than all living biomass and it plays a key role in the marine food web. Changes in concentration or composition can potentially impact this function and affect its ability to store carbon. Ocean acidification is a potential driver for these changes.
I am further interested in structure determination of dissolved organic matter, which represents a highly complex mixture of presumably millions of compounds. My main focus in this context are fragmentation experiments using ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry (FT-ICR-MS).
“The tea of the sea” www.onearth.org/earthwire/ocean-acidification-carbon-storage