UNH Ocean Seminar

Moving Beyond Concentration Measurements: How Technology, Physics and Fluxes Advance Marine Biogeochemistry

Dr. Matthew Long
Associate Scientist

Dept. of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Friday, Mar. 4, 2022, 3:10pm
Chase 105

Technological innovation is a vital tool in our quest for transformative knowledge. While a single technology can provide iterative increases in information, true innovation comes from the combination, integration, and interaction of different fields, ideas, and technologies. An individual sensor or method can provide us with information (e.g., concentration), but when a sensor is paired with a complementary technology, such as physical transport measurements, much more information and knowledge can be achieved. Such rate or flux measurements are key to understanding interactions between organisms and their environment, the atmosphere and the ocean, and the ocean and its biogeochemical cycles. A variety of novel combinations of technologies are presented that are designed to measure fluxes of key tracers that can describe biogeochemical processes and their environmental drivers. Applications of these new technologies to in-situ environments such as coral reefs and seagrass meadows demonstrate their utility and the additive knowledge that can be achieved. Measurements of air-sea exchange, pelagic metabolism, and benthic primary productivity provide direct evidence of the contribution of multiple processes to coastal water quality. Direct flux measurements enable the ability to close the coastal oxygen budget, determine coral calcification rates, evaluate bubble ebullition, and determine the contribution of different benthic communities and surface areas through 3-dimensional reconstructions. While this presentation focuses on technological innovations to investigate coastal biogeochemical processes, I also hope to inspire others to develop new skills, void warranties, take chances, and ask, “Why not?”


Dr. Matthew Long is an Associate Scientist in the Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He attended a small liberal arts college in Pennsylvania, Albright College, where he obtained a BS in biochemistry and environmental chemistry and later obtained his PhD in environmental sciences from the University of Virginia. Although his talk is about ocean engineering, he has never taken an oceanography or engineering course.

Matt’s research explores the ways that natural and anthropogenic processes influence the structure and function of marine ecosystems through unique engineering solutions, advanced instrumentation, and technology development. Studies of biogeochemical cycling, physical transport processes, and bio-physical interactions are principal components of his research into carbon, oxygen, and nutrient cycling in coastal environments. Specifically, Matt develops sensors, systems, and platforms to investigate the natural, in situ processes that control primary production, carbon and oxygen cycling, and transport and how these processes are affect by land use changes, ocean acidification, deoxygenation and warming.