The main theme of my research is to understand how the ocean responds to ongoing anthropogenic emission of carbon dioxide (CO2). I study the processes that drive anthropogenic CO2 to dissolve into seawater, scrutinise the consequent progress of ocean acidification, and unravel the interactions between the changing carbon cycle and other marine biogeochemical systems.
I tackle these topics with a broad approach including collecting new observations at sea, experimental work in the lab, investigations of the theory behind the equilibrium chemistry of seawater, scientific software development, analysis of regional and global datasets compiled from many sources, and comparisons between observations and computational models.
Total alkalinity measured off the west coast of southern Africa during a GEOTRACES cruise in the Benguela upwelling region. Total alkalinity controls the chemical capacity for seawater to take up CO2 from the atmosphere and is critical for marine mitigation of anthropogenic climate change.
My work is highly collaborative, and I actively seek to engage with scientists in other fields where the chemistry of CO2 in seawater is pertinent. This includes palaeo-proxy development, physical transports of carbon in the interior ocean, links with other biogeochemical cycles, and experimental work investigating the response of marine species and ecosystems to ocean acidification.
You can find out more about my ongoing projects on my website: mvdh.xyz
I'm also active on Twitter: @matthew_vdh