Science Division and Cooperation

We will undertake four interrelated interdisciplinary tasks involving field measurements, lab experiments, and numerical modelling. These tasks are interrelated and they serve collectively to tackle the grand challenge of the project, yet each task has its own cutting-edge scientific merits.

Task 1 will measure and characterize the sources and sinks of biogeochemical substances, nutrient speciation and composition, distribution, and transformation/modulation by biogeochemical processes.

Task 2 will investigate the pathways of biogeochemical processes that control the flow of nutrients to organisms at different trophic levels. Top-down and bottom-up controls of phytoplankton biomass and food web structures, and diversity and composition of planktonic species will also be determined.

Task 3 will identify micro-pollutants and trace specific pollutant sources, effects of micro-pollutants on HABs, pollutant accumulation and transportation through the food web and the disruption of various ecosystem services.

Task 4 will study time-dependent, three-dimensional circulation in the RES waters, and the flux transport and mixing of biogeochemical materials in response to the circulation. We will synthesize and consolidate a scientific understanding and develop a novel coupled CPBP modelling system that assimilates observed data to diagnose the present conditions, to forecast future trends in marine eutrophication and its impacts on the ecosystem in the RES, and thus provide a treatment strategy for eutrophication and hypoxia.

Integration of the four tasks represents a novel research methodology that combines an interdisciplinary observational study with a new CPBP modelling for the RES waters.