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Personal profile


Dr Alex Poulton is an Associate Professor in Biological Oceanography at Heriot Watt University, with over 20 years of experience in marine sciences and specific interests in marine ecology and ocean biogeochemistry. He moved to the Lyell Centre for Earth and Marine Sciences and Technology in Edinburgh in the spring of 2017 after working at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC). Dr Poulton received a PhD in Biological Oceanography from the University of Southampton and held a Natural Environmental Research Council Fellowship (NERC) at NOC. He remained at the NOC as a Senior Researcher and then Principal Researcher, managing a research group examining ocean carbon and nutrient dynamics. He has participated in 18 research cruises, including the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic and Southern oceans. Dr Poulton has published over 80 peer-reviewed articles, acted as a Guest Editor for two special issues in Progress in Oceanography and is currently an Editorial Board Member for the Journal of Plankton Research and a member of the NERC peer-review college. His publications reflect his strong research interests in global plankton ecology and aquatic biogeochemistry, specifically the linkages between diversity, primary production, bio-mineralisation, nutrient recycling, elemental stoichiometry, growth, mortality and export. He has worked on several large-scale research projects, including the Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT), UK Ocean Acidification, and Shelf Sea Biogeochemistry programmes. He is currently working on several new projects, including Controls over Ocean Mesopelagic Interior Carbon Storage (COMICS) and Sustainable Oceans, Livelihoods and food Security Through Increased Capacity in Ecosystem research in the Western Indian Ocean (SOLSTICE-WIO). He likes to pursue novel and innovative science, including new perspectives, addressing various research topics, with the hope of challenging established paradigms and redefining understanding - an example of this is his co-authored papers on the ecology, biogeochemistry and adaptation to climate change of fossilized coccolithophores (what he terms 'swimming with dinosaurs').

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

phytoplankton Earth & Environmental Sciences
ocean Earth & Environmental Sciences
diatom Earth & Environmental Sciences
algal bloom Earth & Environmental Sciences
calcification Earth & Environmental Sciences
calcite Agriculture & Biology
carbon Earth & Environmental Sciences
Emiliania huxleyi Agriculture & Biology

Co Author Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1999 2018

A global compilation of coccolithophore calcification rates

Daniels, C. J. , Poulton, A. J. , Balch, W. M. , Marañón, E. , Adey, T. , Bowler, B. C. , Cermeño, P. , Charalampopoulou, A. , Crawford, D. W. , Drapeau, D. , Feng, Y. , Fernández, A. , Fernández, E. , Fragoso, G. M. , González, N. , Graziano, L. M. , Heslop, R. , Holligan, P. M. , Hopkins, J. , Huete-Ortega, M. & 11 others Hutchins, D. A., Lam, P. J., Lipsen, M. S., López-Sandoval, D. C., Loucaides, S., Marchetti, A., Mayers, K. M. J., Rees, A. P., Sobrino, C., Tynan, E. & Tyrrell, T., 16 Oct 2018, In : Earth System Science Data. 10, 4, p. 1859-1876 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
euphotic zone
optical property
environmental response
biological production

Diatom biogeography from the Labrador Sea revealed through a trait-based approach

Fragoso, G. M., Poulton, A. J., Yashayaev, I. M., Head, E. J. H., Johnsen, G. & Purdie, D. A., 5 Sep 2018, In : Frontiers in Marine Science. 5, 297

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
sea ice

Geographical CO2 sensitivity of phytoplankton correlates with ocean buffer capacity

Richier, S., Achterberg, E. P., Humphreys, M. P., Poulton, A. J., Suggett, D. J., Tyrrell, T. & Moore, C. M., Sep 2018, In : Global Change Biology. 24, 9, p. 4438-4452 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

carbonate system
geographical region

Growth and mortality of coccolithophores during spring in a temperate Shelf Sea (Celtic Sea, April 2015)

Mayers, K. M. J., Poulton, A. J., Daniels, C. J., Wells, S. R., Woodward, E. M. S., Tarran, G. A., Widdicombe, C. E., Mayor, D. J., Atkinson, A. & Giering, S. L. C., 10 Mar 2018, In : Progress in Oceanography.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
shelf sea
calcium carbonate
algal bloom
Emiliania huxleyi
Open Access
inorganic carbon

Activities 2016 2017

  • 2 Editorial activity

Progress in Oceanography (Journal)

Poulton, A. J. (Editorial board member)
2017 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

Progress in Oceanography (Journal)

Poulton, A. J. (Editorial board member)

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity