Dr. Carolin Löscher studied biology and marine sciences in Berlin, Kiel and Bremen, and obtained a Dr. rer nat. title from the University of Kiel. She spent several years at the Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research- GEOMAR, to study the Ocean’s nitrogen and carbon cycles using molecular, biogeochemical and model-based approaches, and organized several research cruises.
Together with her group, she currently studies the response of the marine microbes to climate change and climate extremes. She is particularly interested in microbes involved in major biogeochemical cycles (carbon and nitrogen), their response to changes in the ocean’s pH and oxygen status. In addition, Carolin aims at mapping resilience patterns of microbes in the ocean and in finding strategies to protect marine biodiversity, and to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Over the last years, Carolin received several international and national grants for carrying out her research. These include
Anoxic eddies in the eastern tropical North Atlantic, German Research Council (2015-2019): We investigated anoxic water masses (eddies) in the otherwise well-ventilated eastern tropical North Atlantic Ocean (ETNA). We discovered that those water masses develop anoxia because of massive primary productivity in surface waters, promoting the presence of a specific microbial community exhausting the eddy of oxygen, leading to denitrification and production of the greenhouse gases N2O and methane. Our modelling suggested those eddies to contribute 20% to the offshore oxygen-minimum zone in the Atlantic Ocean, changing our understanding of the oxygen status of the ETNA
NITROX- Nitrogen regeneration in oxygen depleted waters, a Marie Curie fellowship from the European Union’s H2020 program. I investigated the response of N2 fixing microbes to anoxia in the Ocean. This project built the basis for understanding a feedback between N2 fixation, primary and export production and respiration, which could possibly counteract the expansion of oxygen depleted waters. (2016-2018). This project led to a currently ongoing study of N2 fixation by microbes using alternative nitrogenases. Those are a mystery in the nitrogen cycle and a PhD student, Christian Furbo Reeder, is currently exploring their role in the ocean.
APHOTIC- Exploring the role of anoxygenic phototrophs in the ocean. Here, Carolin’s PhD student Peihang Xu studies the role of those microbes for extending the productive zone in the ocean to deeper waters. (2019-2023)
Villum Young Investigator Grant to explore ocean negative emission technologies as a tool to mitigate climate change (2020-2024): This project is run with a team of two Postdocs, one PhD student and one technician and will systematically test the applicability of Ocean alkalinity enhancement and silicate mineral addition as tools to prevent Ocean acidification, protect marine biodiversity, and enhance Ocean CO2
Furthermore, Carolin has been awarded a fellowship from the National Ocean and Atmosphere Association of the USA in collaboration with Princeton University. During her research stays in Princeton she’s implementing her findings on the marine carbon and nitrogen cycle into large scale climate models.