AEON Laboratory

Anthropogenic Effects on the Oceanography of Newfoundland - Laboratory

In the AEON Lab (Anthropogenic effects on the Oceanography of Newfoundland) we study the impact of climate change and contaminants like oil or plastic on the Biological Carbon Pump (BCP). This research will increase our understanding of the impacts of climate change, oil spills or plastic waste on marine ecosystems and allow the development of mediating strategies. You can also visit our AEON lab at

Within the MultiPartner Oil Research Initiative, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, we are investigating the interactions between oil-dispersants and marine particles in the ocean. If oil in incorporated into marine snow, will the ingestion of this “marine oil snow” harm organisms feeding on it? Is bacterial degradation of oil more efficient when the oil droplets are trapped within marine oil snow? Do natural exudates and marine particles impact the effectiveness of dispersant and the fate of spilled oil?

Additionally, we are starting work on the role of micro-plastics in altering the BCP, and are targeting the BCP as an important transport pathways for micro and nano-plastics.

Within the large Ocean Frontiers Institute (OFI) funded project The Northwest Atlantic as a climate ocean: Projecting future changes in productivity and the biological carbon pump (NWA-BCP;, we are studying the functioning of the Biological Carbon Pump, using sediment traps, field sampling and experiments, especially multistressor experiments focussing on sinking phytoplankton aggregates.

As part of the OFI funded Knowledge Co-production and transdisciplinary approaches for sustainable Nunatsiavut Futures, our lab will collaborate with the Nunatsiavut to sample plankton communities under the ice during winter along the coast of Labrador, as well as from boats in the ice-free season. Together with other project partners, this work will increase the understanding of climate change impacts in this very vulnerable region and provide a basis for the development of plans for a sustainable future.