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Dr Jon Hawkings

Production of Bioavailable Nutrients Under Glaciers

My PhD research is focused on subglacial production and export of bioavailable nutrients via biogeochemical weathering processes. The Polar regions are home to some of the world's most highly productive oceanic ecosystems. There is an emerging body of evidence to suggest that meltwater and iceberg delivery from ice sheets play a key role in sustaining these systems by providing essential nutrients. Glacially derived nutrients may enhance primary production, helping to sustain and drive complex and economically important marine ecosystems. In a changing climate, understanding the changes that might occur in the future is important.

My research focuses on bioavailable iron, phosphorus, nitrogen, silica and trace element (e.g. Mo, V, Mn) production and export in subglacial environments. These nutrients are considered essential for stimulating primary production in the oceans surrounding the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets, and in wider glacial environments such as the Pacific Northwest.

 Iceberg entrained debris in Southern Greenland

The principle supervisor on my PhD is Professor Jemma Wadham, with Professor Martyn Tranter as my secondary supervisor.

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Research keywords

  • Subglacial and supraglacial biogeochemical processes
  • Glacial nutrient production and cycling
  • Microbial life in extreme environments