How the ocean ecosystems help restore the planet

Carbon makes us blue, but what is Blue Carbon? If the coastal and oceanic ecosystems aren’t incredible enough – they also play a key role in capturing carbon dioxide  from the atmosphere in complex processes played out in inorganic and organic matter, which is then called Blue Carbon. 

We ask our experts Prof Fiorenza Micheli from Stanford University and Prof Ali Mashayek from Imperial College how a better understanding of Blue Carbon Ecosystems (e.g. coasts, mangroves, tidal marshes and seagrass) can help tackle climate change, provide coastal protection and food security. This is the last in this series produced in partnership with The Grantham Institute. Watch out for more in the Autumn!

Our guests:


Fiorenza Micheli is co-director of Stanford’s Center for Ocean Solutions, and a marine ecologist at the Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University, where she is the David and Lucile Packard Professor of Marine Science. Micheli’s research focuses on the processes shaping marine communities and coastal social-ecological systems, and incorporating this understanding in marine management and conservation. She investigates climatic impacts on marine ecosystems, particularly the impacts of hypoxia and ocean acidification on marine species, communities and fisheries, marine predators’ ecology and trophic cascades, the dynamics and sustainability of small-scale fisheries, and the design and function of Marine Protected Areas. Her current research takes her to Mexico, Italy, and Palau, in addition to California. She is a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation, a fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, research advisor to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Seafood Watch and the Benioff Ocean Initiative, and senior fellow at Stanford’s Woods Institute for the Environment.


Ali Mashayek is an assistant professor at Imperial College London. His research interests are in geophysical fluid dynamics, ocean circulation, climate dynamics, and climate change mitigation. At Imperial College, Ali is affiliated with Environmental Fluid Dynamics, the Grantham Institute of Climate Change and the Environment, and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics and am a co-founder of the Marine and coastal environments network. Previously, he held positions at the University of Oxford (AOPP, research fellow at St Hugh’s College 2017-2018), Scripps Institution of Oceanography (postdoctoral associate; 2016-2017), and MIT (postdoctoral fellow; 2013-2016). Ali received his PhD from the University of Toronto in 2013.




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