profile pic

Mary Margaret S

- Research Program Mentor

PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate


Climate Change/Oceanography (ocean acidification, coral reefs, biogeochemical models, paleontology, carbon capture, glacial weathering, climate science-policy, community-based collaborative science)

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

The Other CO2 Problem: The Ocean’s Role in Climate Change

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the oceans have absorbed approximately 30% of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. While this process removes CO2 from the atmosphere and has slowed the rise in global temperatures, the ocean’s absorption of CO2 has led to another problem - ocean acidification. Ocean acidification is a phenomenon in which the absorption of CO2 causes ocean chemistry to change and become more acidic. What are the acid/base chemical principles behind this process? How is ocean acidification impacting marine ecosystems and food sources on which millions of people rely? In what places is ocean acidification posing the largest threats?

Coral Reefs: Multiple Stressors in a Changing Ocean

While coral reefs make up less than 1% of ocean real estate, they are home to over a quarter of marine biodiversity in the ocean. Despite their importance to marine ecosystem functions and the tremendous ecosystem services they provide, coral reefs are severely threatened by climate change and other human activities. What stressors do coral reefs face today? Which studies or research offer glimmers of hope for the resilience of coral reefs? What is being done to protect coral reefs and the communities that rely on these ecosystems?

Climate Change Solutions: The Power of the Oceans

Despite efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale, the effects of climate change can likely only be avoided through efforts to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. As governments and politicians consider solutions to minimize the harmful effects of climate change, the oceans have been proposed as a useful tool to capture and store carbon from the atmosphere. What types of ocean-based solutions exist to slow the effects of climate change? What are the pros and cons of each of these methods? What are some barriers you see for the implementation of such methods?

Coding skills

Python, RStudio

Interested in working with expert mentors like Mary Margaret?

Apply now