• EH14 4AS

    United Kingdom

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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').

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water


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