Causes and consequences of changes in ocean biogeochemistry

PI: Francis Chan


Research Institution:               Oregon State University

PI First name, Last name:         Francis Chan

Phone:                                     541 737 9131


Project website link:


My research centers on understanding the causes and consequences of changes in ocean biogeochemistry.  I am involved in four research programs that can inform our understanding of coastal ocean acidification in the California Current.  First, as part of the PISCO (Partnership for Interdiscipinary Studies of Coastal Oceans –, a coastwide consortium for long-term study of nearshore physics, ecology and biogeochemistry along the California Current, my efforts include work on studying changes in oxygen and carbon chemistry through the deployment of inner-shelf moored sensors and cruises.

These observations are further tied into the OMEGAS (Ocean Margin Ecosystem Group for Acidification Studies) project, an NSF-funded consortium of researchers from OSU, UCSC, UHawaii, UCD, UCSB, Stanford, and MBARI. Research by the OMEGAS consortium includes making observations of nearshore variations in ocean acidification stress across 8 study sites between Oregon and Southern California.  These observations include moored pH and pCO2 sensors as well as pH sensors that are mounted in tidepools.  These observations are collected to 1) resolve the seascape of OA stress 2) understand the climate conditions that intensifies or modulates the expression of that stress in coastal waters and 3) inform physiological and genetic studies on the responses of mussels and urchins to changing ocean chemistry.

As part of the MILOCO (Microbial Initiative in Low Oxygen areas off Concepcion and Oregon, program, I have also been active in deploying pH and pCO2 sensors at a mid-shelf physical/biogeochemical/microbial time-series station in the central Oregon shelf.  This time-series station is located in a core area of seasonal hypoxia and provides an important opportunity to study coupled microbial-biogeochemical changes as oxygen and pH are at their minima.

Lastly, I am also involved in an NSF-funded collaborative project with Bruce Menge, Sally Hacker from OSU and Karina Nielsen from SSU to examine the role of spatially-varying carbon chemistry on the interactions between intertidal coralline algae, non-calcifying macrophytes and invertebrates.

KEYWORDS:   California Current biogeochemistry, OMEGAS, PISCO, MILOCO, hypoxia, coralline algae, non-calcifying macrophytes