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Southern Cross GeoScience

Dakota Gibbs

Dakota Gibbs


MSc Oceanography, University of Southampton (UK) - Master's Thesis: The analysis of dissolved Iron isotopes from hydrothermal plumes in the Scotia Sea

BSc (Hons) Biological Chemistry, University of Sheffield (UK)


Research interests / background:

Iron (Fe) is the fourth most abundant element in the Earth's crust and is essential of all living organism. Until recently, contamination was a major source of error in sampling, storage and analysis of Fe, however, methods have been improved that allow us to measure the biogeochemical cycles of Fe more accurately. The use of iron (Fe) isotopes is a novel way of tracing Fe throughout marine and Earth systems, and looking at the processes that effect Fe fractionation.

For my PhD I will utilise a new Fe isotope analytical method developed at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC, University of Southampton, UK) to look at the biogeochemistry of Fe in acid sulphate soils. More specifically, the main objectives are to:

  • Trace the transformation pathways of the iron sulphide mineral greigite (abundant in the acid sulphate soils) by measuring the isotopic signature at various stages of oxidation
  • Measure the isotopic signature of the pore waters within the acid sulphate sediments and compare them to unaffected soils
  • Measure the isotopic signature of nearby riverine, estuarine and coastal waters to see if the presence of the acid sulphate soils affects the input of Fe into the oceans and contribute to further constraining the oceanic Fe budget and it's sources

Supervisors: Prof. Richard Bush (SCU), Dr Ellen Moon (SCU), Dr Doug Connelly (Uni of Southampton) and Prof. Rachel Mills (Uni of Southampton)