Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Asst Prof Patrick Martin

Assistant Professor, Asian School of the Environment

Email: pmartin@ntu.edu.sg
Asst Prof Patrick Martin

Biography
Patrick Martin is a marine biogeochemist studying the cycling of carbon and nutrients in the ocean. After obtaining his Bachelor's degree in Biology at the University of York (UK), he moved to the UK's National Oceanography Centre in Southampton to undertake his doctoral research. He subsequently won a Postdoctoral Scholarship to work at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (USA), after which he moved to Singapore to work as a Research Fellow at the Earth Observatory of Singapore. He has been an Assistant Professor in the Asian School of the Environment at NTU since July 2016.
Research Interests
My research interests focus on the cycling of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus in the marine environment. The cycling of these elements is an essential part of the global climate system, and is also critical in supporting healthy marine ecosystems.

The main focus of my research group at the moment is to understand how land-derived organic carbon is processed biogeochemically at sea. South-East Asia's coastal peatlands are a globally significant source of dissolved organic matter to the ocean, but we do not understand well what happens to this organic matter at sea, and what the environmental consequences of this input are. Using a combination of in-situ observations, laboratory experiments, and remote sensing, we are trying to understand better how extensively this organic matter is degraded by microbial and photochemical processes, and how its presence influences light availability in coastal waters. We are also developing methods to better quantify land-derived organic matter in the sea both in the present (using optical spectroscopy and stable isotopes), and in the past (using palaeoceanographic reconstructions from coral cores).

Furthermore, I am interested in nutrient cycling processes in tropical coastal waters. Using time-series measurements, we are trying to understand how the rates of coral-associated nitrogen fixation are controlled by environmental conditions, and how the cycling rates and bioavailability of dissolved organic nitrogen and phosphorus on coral reefs are controlled. Nitrogen fixation is a potentially important process that contributes new nitrogen to coral reef environments, while the cycling of organic nitrogen and phosphorus is essential for maintaining productivity in nutrient-poor waters.
Current Projects
  • Biogeochemical Controls On Plankton Communities In South-East Asian Seas
  • Carbon loss from South-East Asian peatlands into rivers and coastal seas
  • Coastal Acidification in Singapore: Calibrating Proxies for Terrigenous Dissolved Organic Carbon (tDOC) and pH for a Multiproxy Reconstruction of the Singapore Coastal Carbonate System
  • Humic acids in coral skeletons: developing a new proxy to estimate past seawater carbon concentrations
  • Ocean acidification in Singapore: assessing and monitoring the impact of peatland-derived dissolved organic carbon on the seawater carbonate system
  • Physical and biogeochecmical effects of sediment transport on coral reefs
Selected Publications
  • Zhou Y., Martin P., Müller M. (2019). Composition and cycling of dissolved organic matter from tropical peatlands of coastal Sarawak, Borneo, revealed by fluorescence spectroscopy and parallel factor analysis. Biogeosciences, 16, 2733-2749.

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