Royal Society Wolfson Fellowship Professor Jens Zinke

Posted by lcb14 at Oct 25, 2018 10:50 AM |
The Royal Society Wolfson Fellowship will strongly support Professor Zinke's aspirations to conduct high-quality research, to commence building an active, highly-collaborative research group at the University of Leicester and to foster multi-disciplinary partnerships in the UK and globally to tackle the challenges faced by climate change and resulting coral reef ecosystem modifications with the impetus on gaining more societal benefits.
Royal Society Wolfson Fellowship Professor Jens Zinke

Professor Jens Zinke

Professor Jens Zinke's research focuses on understanding how the tropical oceans regulate our climate and to which extent global warming caused by humans has interrupted or modified the natural cycles. Additionally, Jens would like to decipher how tropical marine ecosystems, in particular coral reefs, respond to ever increasing pressures from unabated climate change and local human action. Such knowledge is crucial since tropical oceans cover 76% of the Tropics and its shallow coastal marine waters are of fundamental importance to human societies providing valuable services, especially for island nations and coastal populations that comprise 40% of the world’s population.

Professor Jens Zinke performing research on underwater coral
Professor Jens Zinke undertaking his coral reef research

Professor Zinke works with coral reefs because it is the tropical marine ecosystem that is most sensitive to current global warming and human impacts from coastal urbanization which is threatening their survival. The coral's sensitivity is due to their high adaptation to a specific narrow range of environmental conditions which includes temperature, nutrients and light levels. Jens researches the impact of global warming, natural climate variability and human impacts with the help of massive, long-lived stony tropical corals. Corals build a robust skeleton that records climatic and environmental change throughout their multi-century life span in their chemical fingerprint. Shallow-water tropical corals are a key archive to constrain past climate variability – on the time scales most relevant to human societies – beyond the start of systematic reef monitoring programs and instrumental observations of climate. As such Jens develops monthly reconstructions of past and present tropical climate by far exceeding short instrumental observations. Such data fill an important knowledge gap in our understanding of the tropical ocean’s role in the climate system affecting billions of people far away from the Tropics and provide future references. Professor Zinke's key sites for fieldwork and research involving students from Leicester will include the NW Australian shelf, the Scattered islands around and including Madagascar as well as Malaysian Borneo

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