Denman, Kenneth


Phone number: (250) 472-5220
Department: School of Earth & Ocean Sciences

Research description:

-Ocean Climate
-Biochemical Ocean Science
Expertise Profile
How will marine planktonic ecosystems adapt to a future ocean that will be warmer, more stratified, less oxygenated and more acidic?

This is what oceanographer Ken Denman seeks to answer in his research on the interactions between climate change, ocean biogeochemical processes and planktonic ecosystems.

Plankton are tiny organisms that drift on the surface of the ocean. They're a key link between the atmosphere and the seafloor, absorbing carbon dioxide from the air above the ocean surface and sinking to the deeper layers of the waters, where they become the primary food source for other organisms.

Dr. Denman develops computer-generated models of the ocean, including planktonic ecosystems, the carbon cycle and other biogeochemical processes, gathering massive amounts of data to analyze and predict what oceans will look like in the next 50 years.

He's particularly interested in looking at how corals and shellfish--organisms that depend on calcium carbonate to build their body structure--will respond to a more acidic ocean that will corrode their bodies. This will ultimately affect the healthy growth of coral populations, and with them, fisheries.

Dr. Denman is an Adjunct Professor with the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences.

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