Loic Le Ster

Phytoplankton in the Southern Ocean

The Southern Ocean plays a key role at global scale in the export of the atmospheric carbon to the deep ocean layers, which is of major importance in the context of global change. My work focuses on the biological part of this carbon export through the studying of phytoplankton in the open ocean sectors of the Antarctic and Subantarctic regions. The objective of my work is to describe how primary production responds to climate forcing, quantitatively and qualitatively, to improve our understanding of the long-term impacts and ecological consequences of climate change.

My project is defined according to 3 main axes:
• phytoplankton biomass
• phytoplankton community composition
• ecology of marine top predators (southern elephant seal)

My work relies on the biogeochemical parameters of the ocean (e.g. chlorophyll a concentration). The data we analyze in this work is collected in situ by autonomous measuring platforms (elephant seals, BGC-Argo floats) or sampled during oceanographic cruises, which we complement with remote-sensing measurements obtained from satellite observations (e.g. ocean color).

I am a PhD student in the Laboratoire d’Océanographie de Villefranche-sur-Mer and the Centre d’études Biologiques de Chizé