Dr Sophie Martin

Sophie Martin

My role in EPOCA Arctic

I am part of the EPOCA benthic team and I will focus my research on the effects of ocean acidification and elevated temperature on the physiology of arctic coralline algae (Study 9). I will measure their calcification rates using incubation chambers. I will also determine their photosynthetic characteristics (from production-irradiance curves) by measuring both respiration and photosynthesis under different irradiance levels during short incubation periods. I will also be involved in the work on arctic bivalves (Study 4) with Prof. Hans-Otto Pörtner and Axinja Stark. More specifically, I will measure the calcification rates of the molluscs under different pH and temperature conditions. Calcification will be measured by incorporation of the radiotracer calcium-45 in the shells. These measurements will be performed in the radioisotope laboratory of the King’s Bay Marine Lab.

My thoughts about the trip

This will be my first trip to the Arctic. This is a marvellous opportunity to meet other European scientists working on the same field, to share our ideas and expertise. When I came to the South of France for my first post-doc, I discovered how beautiful the mountain and its white, wild nature can be. After the “northern part of the French Riviera”, I will discover the “northern part of the world” and this is like a dream comes true! I’m sure it will be a great experience and I already thank EPOCA, LOV and IAEA for offering me this opportunity!

More about my research

In 2005, I received a PhD in biological oceanography from the University of Western Brittany (Brest, France). My work concentrated on the functioning of benthic communities and their role on the nutrient, carbon and carbonate cycles in coastal ecosystems. I studied the role of an invasive mollusc, Crepidula fornicata, and an exploited coralline alga, maerl, on biogeochemical fluxes and their response to environmental changes. In 2006 and 2007, I was a postdoctoral scientist in the Villefranche Oceanography Laboratory (Villefranche-sur-Mer, France), where I investigated the response of Mediterranean coralline algae to ocean acidification and elevated temperature. I am currently a postdoctoral scientist in the Marine Environment Laboratories of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Monaco, where I am working on the effect of ocean acidification on early life stages of fishes, echinoderms and molluscs. I work in the radioecology team and use radio-elements as a tool to measure physiological functions in marine organisms, such as 45Ca to determine calcification.

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