The cycling of the three key chemical controls on life in the ocean (carbon, oxygen, & nitrogen) is undergoing unprecedented change in the oceans as a result of human activities. We aim to observe, understand, and predict complex interactions within these biogeochemical cycles, which will help us understand the implications of these changes for marine life and the climate. 

Main Research Themes

OBSERVE: Ocean Observations & Technology

  • Develop and apply innovative technologies for observing the chemical and microbial state of the upper ocean
  • Quantify change in the marine environment by the chemical and microbial character of the upper ocean

UNDERSTAND: Field & Laboratory Based Experimentation

  • Targeted, process-oriented experimentation that will improve our fundamental understanding of key processes determining carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen cycles in the ocean
  • Investigation of the functional diversity of microbial communities and their role in biogeochemical cycling using genomics

PREDICT: Coupled Physical, Biogeochemical, and Ecological Modeling

  • Develop data-assimilative, couple physical-biogeochemical models
  • Once validated, the models will be used to predict ocean dynamics and provide a solid scientific basis for management of marine resources


Current CERC.OCEAN Research


The CERC.OCEAN laboratory is focused on chemical oceanography, with a number of high-quality instruments. To see what instruments, techniques, and measurements we are conducting within this laboratory, please visit our laboratory page.

Ships of Opportunity

Our group is working to equip commercial vessels with observation equipment and to leverage existing routes in order to gain additional data without the need for dedicated ocean science vessels.


SeaCycler is a new oceanographic mooring system that profiles a large suite of sensors through the upper ocean to collect simultaneous, high vertical resolution measurements near the surface while avoiding dangerous storm waves.  

Collaborative Research Activities

  • MEOPAR - Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response
  • VITALS - Ventilation, Interactions and Transports Across the Labrador Sea
  • OTN - Ocean Tracking Network
  • HOSST - Helmholtz Research School for Ocean System Science and Technology
  • TOSST - Transatlantic Ocean System Science and Technology
  • POME - Pollution of Marine Environment

Additional Research Projects

OTN Glider Deployments

Richard Davis 

The OTN Ocean Glider Programme regularly deploys two Teledyne Webb Slocum electric gliders along the Halifax Line, running from Chebucto Head to approximately 250 km offshore. Their mission is to provide oceanographic context for models of ocean dynamics that will be related directly to the activities of tracked species. Learn more.


Diego Ibarra

A “one-stop-shop” portal to allow easy access to real-time ocean data and forecasts from a wide variety of sources, including citizens. From waves, to bottom temperature, to surface chlorophyll, to animal sightings… OceanViewer.org integrates all kinds of ocean data (from satellites, buoys, gliders, models, etc.) under an easy-to-use data browsing and visualization interface. Simply put, OceanViewer.org is a “Kijiji” for ocean data.