Opendata, web and dolomites


Beyond the Iron Curtain

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "BYONIC" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: L69 7ZX

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 1˙668˙418 €
 EC max contribution 1˙668˙418 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-COG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-06-01   to  2022-05-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    THE UNIVERSITY OF LIVERPOOL UK (LIVERPOOL) coordinator 1˙668˙418.00


 Project objective

As one of the largest carbon reservoirs in the Earth system, the ocean is central to understanding past, present and future fluctuations in atmospheric carbon dioxide. In this context, microscopic plants called phytoplankton are key as they consume carbon dioxide during photosynthesis and transfer part of this carbon to the ocean’s interior and ultimately the lithosphere. The overall abundance of phytoplankton also forms the foundation of ocean food webs and drives the richness of marine fisheries.

It is key that we understand drivers of variations in phytoplankton growth, so we can explain changes in ocean productivity and the global carbon cycle, as well as project future trends with confidence. The numerical models we rely on for these tasks are prevented from doing so at present, however, due to a major theoretical gap concerning the role of trace metals in shaping phytoplankton growth in the ocean. This omission is particularly lacking at regional scales, where subtle interactions can lead to their co-limitation of biological activity. While we have long known that trace metals are fundamentally important to the photosynthesis and respiration of phytoplankton, it is only very recently that the necessary large-scale oceanic datasets required by numerical models have become available. I am leading such efforts with the trace metal iron, but we urgently need to expand our approach to other essential trace metals such as cobalt, copper, manganese and zinc.

This project will combine knowledge of biological requirement for trace metals with these newly emerging datasets to move ‘beyond the iron curtain’ and develop the first ever complete numerical model of resource limitation of phytoplankton growth, accounting for co-limiting interactions. Via a progressive combination of data synthesis and state of the art modelling, I will deliver a step-change into how we think resource availability controls life in the ocean.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 E. L. Cavan, A. Belcher, A. Atkinson, S. L. Hill, S. Kawaguchi, S. McCormack, B. Meyer, S. Nicol, L. Ratnarajah, K. Schmidt, D. K. Steinberg, G. A. Tarling, P. W. Boyd
The importance of Antarctic krill in biogeochemical cycles
published pages: , ISSN: 2041-1723, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-12668-7
Nature Communications 10/1 2020-02-05
2019 Camille Richon, Alessandro Tagliabue
Insights Into the Major Processes Driving the Global Distribution of Copper in the Ocean From a Global Model
published pages: , ISSN: 0886-6236, DOI: 10.1029/2019gb006280
Global Biogeochemical Cycles 2020-01-29
2019 Alessandro Tagliabue, Andrew R. Bowie, Timothy DeVries, Michael J. Ellwood, William M. Landing, Angela Milne, Daniel C. Ohnemus, Benjamin S. Twining, Philip W. Boyd
The interplay between regeneration and scavenging fluxes drives ocean iron cycling
published pages: , ISSN: 2041-1723, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-12775-5
Nature Communications 10/1 2020-01-29
2019 Mathieu Ardyna, Léo Lacour, Sara Sergi, Francesco d’Ovidio, Jean-Baptiste Sallée, Mathieu Rembauville, Stéphane Blain, Alessandro Tagliabue, Reiner Schlitzer, Catherine Jeandel, Kevin Robert Arrigo, Hervé Claustre
Hydrothermal vents trigger massive phytoplankton blooms in the Southern Ocean
published pages: , ISSN: 2041-1723, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-09973-6
Nature Communications 10/1 2020-01-29
2017 Thomas J. Browning, Eric P. Achterberg, Insa Rapp, Anja Engel, Erin M. Bertrand, Alessandro Tagliabue, C. Mark Moore
Nutrient co-limitation at the boundary of an oceanic gyre
published pages: , ISSN: 0028-0836, DOI: 10.1038/nature24063
Nature 2019-05-15
2018 Thomas Weber, Seth John, Alessandro Tagliabue, Tim DeVries
Biological uptake and reversible scavenging of zinc in the global ocean
published pages: 72-76, ISSN: 0036-8075, DOI: 10.1126/science.aap8532
Science 361/6397 2019-05-15
2018 Alessandro Tagliabue, Nicholas J. Hawco, Randelle M. Bundy, William M. Landing, Angela Milne, Peter L. Morton, Mak A. Saito
The Role of External Inputs and Internal Cycling in Shaping the Global Ocean Cobalt Distribution: Insights From the First Cobalt Biogeochemical Model
published pages: 594-616, ISSN: 0886-6236, DOI: 10.1002/2017gb005830
Global Biogeochemical Cycles 32/4 2019-05-15

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