Tom was one of 8 successful applicants from the University of Helsinki among the 11 nationwide Academy Research Fellows of the Council for Biosciences and Environment. This prestigious award represents a major source of external funding to ABRU, and will allow the continued expansion of the group over the next 5 years. Tom is the third member of ABRU to secure such funding, after Susanna (2013) and Karoliina (2014).
In the new project "Sedimentary trace metals: unlocking the archives of coastal marine hypoxia", Tom and his team will reconstruct the expansion of 'dead zones' in the coastal seas of Europe, using records of trace metal accumulation from seafloor sediment cores. Human activities have led to eutrophication and hypoxia in many areas of the coastal oceans, impacting on marine habitats and coastal economies. Understanding where, why and how fast these dead zones appear is critical to combating their growth in the future. Trace metals that are naturally present in seawater undergo chemical changes in the absence of oxygen, leading to their accumulation in sediments. Hence, their concentration in sediment cores represents a unique archive of dead zone expansion.
The project will strengthen existing collaborations between the University of Helsinki, Stockholm University (Sweden) and Utrecht Univeristy (Netherlands).