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 and carbon dioxide and decreasing dissolved oxygen. 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, the relationship between apparent oxygen utilisation and dissolved organic carbon, and determination of the proportion of plankton respiration attributable to bacterioplankton.

I am a Fellow of the Royal 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 most recent course was in March 2016, and the next is planned for February/March 2018.

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. 

Studentship projects available in my group include :

The influence of organic nutrients on the production of CO2 by marine plankton in a changing environment

Satellite estimates of marine net community production in the Atlantic oligotrophic gyres

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

All Publications

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Garcia-Martin, E. E., Daniels, C. J., Davidson, K., Lozano, J., Mayers, K. M., McNeill, S., Mitchell, E., Poulton, A., Purdie, D. A., Tarran, G. A., Whyte, C., Robinson, C.

(2017)

Plankton community respiration and bacterial metabolism in a North Atlantic Shelf Sea during spring bloom development (April 2015),

in Progress in Oceanography

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(E-pub ahead of print)


Thompson, L., Sanders, J., McDonald, D., Amir, A., Ladau, J., Locey, K., Prill, R., Tripathi, A., Gibbons, S., Ackermann, G., Navas-Molina, J., Janssen, S., Kopylova, E., Vázquez-Baeza, Y., González, A., Morton, J., Mirarab, S., Zech Xu, Z., Jiang, L., Haroon, M. F., Kanbar, J., Zhu, Q., Song, S. J., Kosciolek, T., Bokulich, N., Lefler, J., Brislawn, C., Humphrey, G., Owens, S., Hampton-Marcell, J., Berg-Lyons, D., McKenzie, V., Fierer, N., Fuhrman, J., Clauset, A., Stevens, R., Shade, A., Pollard, K., Goodwin, K., Jansson, J., Gilbert, J., Knight, R.

(2017)

A communal catalogue reveals Earth’s multiscale microbial diversity,

in Nature

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(E-pub ahead of print)


Robinson, C.

(2017)

Phytoplankton biogeochemical cycles,

in Marine Plankton : A practical guide to ecology, methodology, and taxonomy.

OUP

ISBN 9780199233267

(Chapter (peer-reviewed))

(Published)


Ostle, C., Williamson, P., Artioli, Y., Bakker, D. C. E., Birchenough, S., Davis, C. E., Dye, S., Edwards, M., Findlay, H. S., Greenwood, N., Hartman, S., Humphreys, M. P., Jickells, T., Johnson, M., Landschuetzer, P., Parker, R., Pearce, D., Pinnegar, J., Robinson, C., Schuster, U., Silburn, B., Thomas, R., Wakelin, S., Walsham, P., Watson, A. J.

(2016)

Carbon dioxide and ocean acidification observations in UK waters. Synthesis report with a focus on 2010–2015,

University of East Anglia, UK

Full Text

(Other report)

(Published)


Jiao, N., Legendre, L., Robinson, C., Thomas, H., Luo, Y., Dang, H., Liu, J., Zhang, R., Tang, K., Luo, T., Li, C., Wang, X., Zhang, C.

(2015)

Comment on “Dilution limits dissolved organic carbon utilization in the deep ocean”,

in Science

350

(6267)

pp. 1483a

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Gloël, J., Robinson, C., Tilstone, G. H., Tarran, G., Kaiser, J.

(2015)

Technical note: Could benzalkonium chloride be a suitable alternative to mercuric chloride for preservation of seawater samples?,

in Ocean Science

11

(6)

pp. 947-952

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Hofmann, E., Bundy, A., Drinkwater, K., Piola, A. R., Avril, B., Robinson, C., Murphy, E., Maddison, L., Svendsen, E., Hall, J., Xu, Y.

(2015)

IMBER – Research for marine sustainability: Synthesis and the way forward,

in Anthropocene

12

pp. 42–53

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Rees, A., Robinson, C., Smyth, T., Aiken, J., Nightingale, P., Zubkov, M.

(2015)

20 years of the Atlantic Meridional Transect - AMT,

in Limnology and Oceanography Bulletin

24

(4)

pp. 101–107

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Barnes, M. K., Tilstone, G. H., Smyth, T. J., Widdicombe, C. E., Gloel, J., Robinson, C., Kaiser, J., Suggett, D. J.

(2015)

Drivers and effects of Karenia mikimotoi blooms in the western English Channel,

in Progress in Oceanography

137

(Part B)

pp. 456–469

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Tilstone, G., Xie, Y., Robinson, C., Serret, P., Raitsos, D. E., Powell, T., Aranguren-Gassis, M., Garcia-Martin, E. E., Kitidis, V.

(2015)

Satellite estimates of net community production indicate predominance of net autotrophy in the Atlantic Ocean,

in Remote Sensing of Environment

164

pp. 254-269

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Serret, P., Robinson, C., Aranguren-Gassis, M., Garcia-Martin, E. E., Gist, N., Kitidis, V., Lozano, J., Stephens, J., Harris, C., Thomas, R.

(2015)

Both respiration and photosynthesis determine the scaling of plankton metabolism in the oligotrophic ocean,

in Nature Communications

6

article no. 6961

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


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

29

(1)

pp. 80-95

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


Gloël, J., Robinson, C., Tilstone, G. H., Tarran, G., Kaiser, J.

(2015)

Technical Note: Could benzalkonium chloride be a suitable alternative to mercuric chloride for preservation of seawater samples?,

in Ocean Science Discussions

12

(4)

pp. 1953-1969

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


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

(19)

pp. 5285-5306

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


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)

(Published)


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 and Oceanography

59

(2)

pp. 299-310

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


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

(3)

pp. 1-13

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


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

(1980)

pp. 5461-5479

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)

(Published)


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

(2012)

Prospectus for UK Marine Science.,

in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society

370

(1980)

pp. 5453-5700

(Special issue)

(Published)


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

(2011)

The microbial carbon pump: Emerging issues workshop report,

in ASLO Bulletin

20

(2)

pp. 37-38

(Editorial)

(Published)


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Key Research Interests

I led the NERC large grant - 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 (by NERC and The Leverhulme Trust) to study the role of plankton respiration in carbon sequestration and the production of carbon dioxide and how this might change 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 PhD students are studying the relationship between phytoplankton community structure and cycling of carbon dioxide in the North Atlantic and zooplankton mediated carbon flux in the Southern Ocean.

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

My research profiles are available at Scopus 23045392200, Loop 231628, ResearcherID F-7649-2011, ResearchGate, Google Scholar, and ORCID 0000-0003-3033-4565.

Publications: EPrints Digital Repository

Research Group Membership

Current Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr Enma Elena Garcia Martin

Previous Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr Niki Gist

Dr Vassilis Kitidis

Dr Pablo Serret (Marie Curie Fellow)

Current Postgraduate Students

Victoria Fowler

Cecilia Liszka

Completed Postgraduate Students

Dr Alida Rosales Villa

Ms Cansu Bayindirli    (MPhil)

Dr Clare Ostle

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 and a module on Sustainability, Society and Biodiversity, on second year modules in Aquatic Biogeochemistry and the Marine Sciences Fieldcourse, third year modules in Biological Oceanography and the Carbon Cycle and Climate Change and Masters modules in Ocean Observing Systems and the 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

  • 2016 - present Chair of the Scientific Steering Committee of the SCOR/Future Earth programme ‘Integrated Marine Biosphere Research’ (IMBER)
  • 2015   Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • 2015 - present Editor for Frontiers in Marine Science - Marine Biogeochemistry
  • 2012 - 2016 Vice Chair of the EU FP7 People-ITN Marie Curie Review Panel
  • 2012 - 2015 Chair of the Steering Committee for the NERC Facility for Scientific Diving
  • 2011 - present Editor for Biogeosciences, European Geoscience Union (Impact Factor 3.9)
  • 2006 - 2016 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 Ecosystem Research’ (IMBER)
  • 2010 - 2014 Deputy Chair of the European Research Council Fellowship Review Panel
  • 2010 Fellow of the Royal 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 leadership and management positions, including Senior Advisor, Disability Awareness Officer, On- and in-water safety officer and Co- Sector Head of the Atmospheres and Oceans sector, and have been a member of Teaching Executive, the Undergraduate Affairs Committee, the Promotions Committee, the Undergraduate Examinations Board, the Equipment Committee and the Postgraduate Research Committee.