As Canada Excellence Research Chair in Ocean Science and Technology, Douglas Wallace leads a research team working to help us predict and prepare for these threats by examining the causes and consequences of recent changes and building tools to detect and address them.
With his team at Dalhousie University, Wallace is developing new observation instruments that are more sensitive to biogeochemical oceanic change than current methods of detection. Packages of these instruments are being stationed on research vessels, but also on commercial ships that will act as “volunteer” observing platforms as well as on autonomous vehicles.
Wallace will use the data to measure, for example, how the uptake of fossil-fuel-derived carbon dioxide by the ocean is changing. Then, working with other Dalhousie investigators, Wallace will develop computer models to predict future changes in the exchange of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases between sea and air—as a result of climate change, for example.
As the first science director of the new Halifax Marine Research Institute, Wallace is playing a critical role in establishing a broad, long-term research agenda for the region. Bringing together academics and government researchers, the institute will serve as a bridge between the marine research community, the private sector and policy-makers, as well as becoming an integral part of joint projects with other nations. It will also provide Canada with the best possible tools and scientific information available for making informed decisions about our oceans.