Biography

I lead a team which studies the role of marine bacteria, phytoplankton and zooplankton in the global cycling of carbon and oxygen, and how this varies in space and time and with changing environmental conditions such as increasing nutrient supply, temperature, acidification and deoxygenation. This involves laboratory and field observations, remote sensing, numerical models and the use of water mass tracers (sulphur hexafluoride), gliders and time series datasets.

I developed an analytical system to continually measure seawater dissolved inorganic carbon and used this to determine the spatial variability in the North Atlantic CO2 sink, the impact of coccolithophore blooms on oceanic carbon uptake and the imbalanced uptake of carbon and nitrogen by phytoplankton.

Using scientific diving techniques I investigated carbon flux in the ice-ocean-plankton systems of the  Antarctic and in high CO2 hydrothermal regions in the Aegean Sea.

I undertook laboratory and mesocosm studies to investigate the cycling of carbon through the marine microbial foodweb under varying nutrient ratio and temperature conditions.

I led a project to investigate the latitudinal variability in the balance between phytoplankton uptake of CO2 and bacterial production of CO2 to develop empirical and remote sensing models to derive global plankton production. 

Recent projects have included the determination of oxygen photolysis as a potential bias in the determination of plankton production, the impact of coastal upwelling on carbonate chemistry, and the relationship between apparent oxygen utilisation and dissolved organic carbon.

I am a Fellow of the Society of Biology and past President of the Challenger Society for Marine Science.

I organise a 2 day weekend Introduction to Oceanography course, open to anyone with an interest in the marine environment. The next course is 7-8 February 2015.

My personal twitter account is @CarolRobinson8

Career History

  • 2007 - present: Reader in Marine Biogeochemistry, University of East Anglia
  • 2000 - 2007: Senior Scientist (Head of Science, Biogeochemistry), Plymouth Marine Laboratory
  • 1996 - 2001: NERC Advanced Research Fellow, Plymouth Marine Laboratory
  • 1988 - 1996: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Wales; Bangor 
  • 1987 - 1988: Postdoctoral Research Assistant, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
  • 1987 Ph.D. Civil Engineering (Public Health) University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
  • 1982 B.Sc. Zoology (Marine) University of Newcastle Upon Tyne

PhD Positions

Click here for current PhD opportunities in the School of Environmental Sciences. 

I have three studentships advertised at the moment:

Illuminating the marine oxygen cycle – with Vas Kitidis, Plymouth Marine Laboratory

Robotic observations of marine snow storms – with Giorgio Dall’Olmo, Plymouth Marine Laboratory and

Ocean processes triggering monsoon rainfall – with Karen Heywood, UEA

However,feel free to email me to discuss projects outside these areas and alternative sources of funding.

All Publications

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Ostle, C., Johnson, M., Landschützer, P., Schuster, U., Hartman, S., Hull, T., Robinson, C.

(2015)

Net community production in the North Atlantic Ocean derived from Volunteer Observing Ship data

in Global Biogeochemical Cycles

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Jiao, N., Robinson, C., Azam, F., Thomas, H., Baltar, F., Dang, H., Hardman-mountford, N. J., Johnson, M., Kirchman, D. L., Koch, B. P., Legendre, L., Li, C., Liu, J., Luo, T., Luo, Y., Mitra, A., Romanou, A., Tang, K., Wang, X., Zhang, C., Zhang, R.

(2014)

Mechanisms of microbial carbon sequestration in the ocean – future research directions

in Biogeosciences

11.

pp. 5285-5306

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Pan, X., Achterberg, E., Sanders, R., Poulton, A., Oliver, K., Robinson, C.

(2014)

Dissolved organic carbon and apparent oxygen utilization in the Atlantic Ocean

in Deep Sea Research Part I Oceanographic Research Papers

85.

pp. 80-87

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Kitidis, V., Tilstone, G., Serret, P., Smyth, T., Torres, R., Robinson, C.

(2014)

Oxygen photolysis in the Mauritanian upwelling: Implications for net community production

in Limnology & Oceanography

59.

pp. 299-310

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Loucaides, S., Tyrrell, T., Achterberg, E., Torres, R., Nightingale, P., Kitidis, V., Serret, P., Woodward, M., Robinson, C.

(2012)

Biological and physical forcing of carbonate chemistry in an upwelling filament off northwest Africa: Results from a Lagrangian study

in Global Biogeochemical Cycles

26.

pp. 1-13

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Bryden, H., Robinson, C., Griffiths, G.

(2012)

Changing Currents: A Strategy for Understanding and Predicting the Changing Ocean Circulation.

in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences

370.

pp. 5461-5479

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Bryden, H., Robinson, C., Griffiths, G.

(2012)

Prospectus for UK Marine Science.

in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society

370.

pp. 5453-5700

(Special issue)


Jiao, N., Robinson, C., Kattner, G.

(2011)

The microbial carbon pump: Emerging issues workshop report

in ASLO Bulletin

20.

pp. 37-38

(Editorial)


Robinson, C., Ramaiah, N.

(2011)

Microbial Heterotrophic Metabolic Rates Constrain the Microbial Carbon Pump.

in Science

332.

pp. 52-53

UEA Repository

(Article)


Burd, A., Hansell, D., Steinberg, D., Anderson, T., Aristegui, J., Baltar, F., Beaupre, S., Buesseler, K., Dehairs, F., Jackson, G., Kadko, D., Koppelmann, R., Lampitt, R., Nagata, T., Reinthaler, T., Robinson, C., Robison, B., Tamburini, C., Tanaka, T.

(2010)

Assessing the apparent imbalance between geochemical and biochemical indicators of meso- and bathypelagic biological activity: What the @#! is wrong with present calculations of carbon budgets?

in Deep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography

57.

pp. 1557-1571

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Robinson, C., Steinberg, D., Anderson, T., Aristegui, J., Carlson, C., Frost, J., Ghiglione, J., Hernandez-Leon, S., Jackson, G., Koppelmann, R., Queguier, B., Ragueneau, O., Rassoulzadegan, F., Robison, B., Tamburini, C., Tanaka, T., Wishner, K., Zhang, J.

(2010)

Mesopelagic zone ecology and biogeochemistry - A synthesis

in Deep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography

57.

pp. 1504-1518

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Forster, G., Upstill-Goddard, R., Gist, N., Robinson, C., Uher, G., Woodward, E.

(2009)

Nitrous oxide and methane in the Atlantic Ocean between 50 degrees North and 52 degrees South: Latitudinal distribution and sea-to-air flux

in Deep-Sea Research II

56.

pp. 964-976

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Gist, N., Serret, P., Woodward, E., Chamberlain, K., Robinson, C.

(2009)

Seasonal and spatial variability in plankton production and respiration in the Subtropical Gyres of the Atlantic Ocean

in Deep-Sea Research II

pp. 931-940

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Robinson, C., Holligan, P., Jickells, T., Lavender, S.

(2009)

The Atlantic Meridional Transect Programme (1995-2012)

in Deep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography

56.

pp. 895-898

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Robinson, C., Tilstone, G., Rees, A., Smyth, T., Fishwick, J., Tarran, G., Luz, B., Barkan, E., David, E.

(2009)

Comparison of in vitro and in situ plankton production determinations

in Aquatic Microbial Ecology

54.

pp. 13-34

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Serret, P., Robinson, C., Fernandez, E., Tiera, E., Tilstone, G., Perez, V.

(2009)

Predicting plankton net community production in the Atlantic Ocean

in Deep Sea Research Part II Topical Studies in Oceanography

56.

pp. 941-953

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Robinson, C.

(2008)

Heterotrophic bacterial respiration

In: Microbial Ecology of the Oceans.

John Wiley & Sons, Inc

UEA Repository

(Chapter)


Robinson, C., Owens, N.

(2008)

Patrick Michael Holligan, a short biography

in Journal of Plankton Research

30.

pp. 95-106

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Maranon, E., Perez, V., Fernandez, E., Anadon, R., Bode, A., Gonzalez, N., Huskin, I., Isla, A., Moran, X., Mourino, B., Quevedo, M., Robinson, C., Serret, P., Teira, E., Varela, M., Woodward, E., Zubkov, M.

(2007)

Planktonic carbon budget in the eastern subtropical North Atlantic

in Aquatic Microbial Ecology

48.

pp. 261-275

UEA Repository

(Article)


Quay, P., Sonnerup, R., Stutsman, J., Maurer, J., Kortzinger, A., Padin, X., Robinson, C.

(2007)

Anthropogenic CO2 accumulation rates in the North Atlantic Ocean from changes in the 13C/12C of dissolved inorganic carbon

in Global Biogeochemical Cycles

21.

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


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Key Research Interests

I led the NERC consortium - the Atlantic Meridional Transect programme - which aimed to quantify the nature & causes of ecological & biogeochemical variability in the planktonic ecosystems of the Atlantic Ocean and a NERC SOLAS project to investigate the impact of upwelled water along the Mauritanian coast on open ocean biogeochemistry and air-sea exchange of climatically important gases. I was also a co-investigator on a NERC project to investigate spatial variability in marine productivity using underwater gliders. I have participated in ca. 30 open ocean research cruises, coastal mesocosm experiments and coastal time series studies, including a 3 month stay at the Australian Antarctic base DAVIS.

I’m currently funded to study plankton respiration (NERC Shelf Sea Biogeochemistry) and plankton metabolism (Spanish National Research Council) in a changing environment. Current projects link organic and inorganic chemistry, photochemistry, microbial ecology, plankton physiology, remote sensing, numerical models, and the use of tracers, gliders and time series datasets. My current PhD students are studying the link between bacterial respiration and community structure, the relationship between phytoplankton community structure and cycling of carbon dioxide in the North Atlantic and zooplankton mediated carbon flux in the South Atlantic Ocean.

I maintain a publicly available global database of plankton community and bacterial respiration.

My research profiles are available at ResearcherID F-7649-2011, ResearchGate, Google Scholar, ORCID 0000-0003-3033-4565 and Scopus 23045392200.

Recent cv 

Publications: EPrints Digital Repository

Research Group Membership

Current PDRAs

Dr Enma Elena Garcia Martin

Previous PDRAs

Dr Niki Gist

Current PGR Students

Cansu Bayindirli    

Clare Ostle 

Alida Rosales Villa

Cecilia Liszka

Completed PGR Students

Dr Katy Owen

Dr Chris Brown

Dr Johanna Gloel

Dr Raffaella Nobili

Dr Rhiannon Mather (University of Liverpool)

Dr Rachel U Shelley (University of Plymouth)  

Ms Jenna Robinson  (MPhil University of Newcastle upon Tyne)

Teaching Interests

I teach on the first year environmental sciences fieldcourse, on second year modules in Chemical Oceanography and the Marine Sciences Fieldcourse, third year modules in Biological Oceanography and the Carbon Cycle and Climate Change and Masters modules in Biological Oceanography, Carbon Cycle and Marine Sciences Fieldcourse.

I have been the external examiner for the BSc in Oceanography at the University of Liverpool (2010-2012) and the MSc in Oceanography at the University of Southampton (2009-2012), and a PhD examiner at the Universities of Southampton, Bristol, Liverpool, Dundee, Swansea and Marseilles.

External Activities and Indicators of Esteem

  • 2012 - present Chair of the Steering Committee for the NERC Facility for Scientific Diving
  • 2012 - 2014 Vice Chair of the EU FP7 People-ITN Marie Curie Review Panel
  • 2011 - present Editor for Biogeosciences, European Geoscience Union (Impact Factor 3.9)
  • 2006 - present Editor for Ocean Science, European Geoscience Union (Impact Factor 2.2)
  • 2011 - present Member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the British Indian Ocean Territories, Foreign & Commonwealth Office
  • 2011 - 2013 Member of the External Advisory Board for the FP7 Network of Excellence EuroMarine
  • 2011 - present Associate Editor ASLO e-lectures
  • 2010 - 2013 Vice Chair of the Scientific Steering Committee of the IGBP/SCOR programme ‘Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecological Research’ (IMBER)
  • 2010 - 2014 Deputy Chair of the European Research Council Fellowship Review Panel
  • 2010 Fellow of the Society of Biology FSB (Chartered Biologist CBiol)
  • 2009 - 2013 UK IGBP National Committee
  • 2008 - 2010 President of the Challenger Society for Marine Science
  • 2006 - 2010 Member of the scientific steering committee of the SCOR sponsored programme GEOTRACES

Key Responsibilities

I have held several research and teaching administrative posts, including ENV Senior Advisor, Disability Awareness Officer, On- and in-water safety officer and Co-Head of the Atmospheres and Oceans sector, and have been a member of Teaching Executive, the Undergraduate Affairs Committee, the Promotions Committee, the Equipment Committee and the Postgraduate Research Committee.