What Do We Do?
When one says "Amazon," most people imagine rainforest, tropical birds, and jaguars; some may conjure up piranhas or pink dolphins. Few will evoke cyanobacteria, marine diatoms, or salps. In the course of extending the river ecosystem to include its oceanic component, we aim to change that perception. We suggest that the popular idea of the Amazon as "the lungs of the earth" must include the breath of the river plume far offshore. In this program, we investigate how the Amazon continuum and its associated carbon cycle extend hundreds of miles from the river to the open ocean and suggest that making such a connection is vital to understand regional and global human impacts and potential feedbacks to climate change.
Our international team of multidisciplinary aquatic and marine scientists aims to connect Amazon carbon cycle research along the continuum from the last river station at Obidos (800 km upriver from the mouth), though the river plume, to the open ocean. We will investigate key components of our central working hypothesis that climate and land-use driven modifications to river discharge and upriver carbon and nutrient concentrations and ratios will significantly impact carbon fluxes across the entire Amazon continuum, including the tropical open ocean.
I am honored to represent such an extraordinary team of scientists and educators. Sincerely,