Microbial Carbon Pump in a changing ocean: building models for the future

This project will conduct laboratory experiments to provide the physiological information and understanding needed to develop the first ever model describing the microbial carbon pump (MCP) and its relationship with nutrient concentrations and temperature. This will be the first critical step towards the simulation of the MCP in present and future oceans.

To achieve this ambitious goal, the project will bring together a multidisciplinary team of internationally recognised scientists, from chemical analysts to system biology and ecosystem modellers.

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Diagram of the microbial carbon pump

Project video


  1. To understand the effects of nutrients and temperature on the microbial production of long lasting dissolved organic carbon (the MCP).
  2. To develop the first model formulation describing MCP functioning under changing temperature and nutrient conditions.
  3. To understand how the interactions between bacteria and grazers affect the production of refractory dissolved organic matter.
  4. To implement the new model formulation into the European Regional Seas Ecosystem Model (ERSEM) and make it publically available for both the national and international scientific community.