Christian B. Lewis, CIU

PhD Student, Druffel Lab, University of California, Irvine, Earth System Science Department


Bio: I became interested in marine science as an undergraduate at Loyola University Maryland, where I had to opportunity to work in a marine chemistry lab investigating trace gas air/sea exchange. Through my faculty mentor, I learned about the threats anthropogenic climate change pose to the world’s oceans and the rest of the planet. Marine science and oceanography soon became a passion of mine, and I was able to continue researching chemical oceanography for a year in Germany and now as a graduate student at the University of California, Irvine where I am advised by Dr. Ellen Druffel.

The ocean has always played a role in my life. When I was younger, my family would vacation at the Jersey shore every summer, and I would spend most of my time in the water because I didn’t like the sand. As I got older, we stopped vacationing in Ocean City New Jersey, but I became interested in swimming and surfing, which kept me connected to the sea. It wasn’t until college that I learned I could combine my chemistry major with oceanographic research.

This is my 3rd time on a research cruise, and I am interested to learn about the Indian Ocean, a region that has been explored much less than the other ocean basins. I am looking forward to meeting everyone on board the ship, and getting to experience the culture of our different port cities!

What I’m doing on this cruise: We will be measuring the concentrations and radiocarbon ages of the organic matter dissolved in the seawater. These two key pieces of information can help us infer how long the ocean can store various types of carbon, and why some types of organic matter reside in the ocean longer than others before being remineralized back to carbon dioxide.