Personal profile

Areas of Expertise


After an MSc in Soil Science with a focus on biogeochemical cycles (1991), I moved into oceanography for PhD research on CO2 air-sea exchange in the Atlantic and Southern Oceans. The oceans cover two-thirds of our Blue Planet and major findings are still being made. The multidisciplinary, seagoing fieldwork is a fun aspect of oceanography. Central in my research are processes affecting the air-sea transfer of natural long-lived greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide) and the marine carbon cycle in a changing climate, notably the role of marine biota, ocean circulation, stratification, iron supply, sea ice and ocean acidification.

Data quality and access to marine biogeochemical data are important, especially for studies of longterm variation and change. I contribute to these aims as chair of the Surface Ocean CO2 Atlas (SOCAT), a high-profile activity by the international marine carbon research community. Version 2022 of SOCAT is available. Automation of SOCAT data upload now enables annual, public releases of SOCAT. SOCAT has made a Voluntary Commitment to the 2017 UN Conference for Annual, public releases of the Surface Ocean CO2 Atlas (#OceanAction20464) and contributes to UN Sustainable Development Goal 14.3.1 (Ocean Acidification). Recent SOCAT-based estimates indicate that the ocean carbon sink is more variable on year-to-year and decadal time scales than ocean biogeochemical models indicate.

Currently I am investigating carbon cycling in UK shelf seas and the Southern and Arctic Oceans. I am part of the CUSTARD, PICCOLO, MOSAiC, COMFORT and Greenfeedback research projects. Past research projects include CarboChange, and Ocean Acidification Research. I have participated in 21 multidisciplinary, mostly seagoing research projects, am an author of 100 peer-reviewed articles and 5 book chapters and supervise 1 researcher and 3 PhD students. 

Read here about Elise Droste's participation in MOSAiC.




  • 2018 to date:  University of East Anglia, Associate Professor
  • 2016-2018:    University of East Anglia, Senior Lecturer
  • 2006-2016:    University of East Anglia, Research Officer
  • 1998-2005:    University of East Anglia, Senior Research Associate
  • 1998:             PhD awarded by the University of Groningen
  • 1996-1998:    Universite Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, Research           Associate
  • 1991-1996:    Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, PhD research
  • 1985-1991:    Wageningen Agricultural University, The Netherlands,                         MSc Soil Science 


Special Award


PhD Opportunities

Email me (d.bakker at to discuss PhD projects on the ocean carbon cycle and sources of funding.

Click here for other PhD opportunities in the School of Environmental Sciences.


Key Research Interests

Air-sea interactions of long-lived greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide).  The marine carbon cycle and its feedbacks with other biogeochemical cycles and climate.  Seasonal, year-to-year and decadal variation in the ocean carbon sink and the processes driving this variation.  The role of seasonal sea-ice in air-sea transfer of carbon dioxide (CO2).  The key role of iron in the Southern Ocean carbon cycle.  The effects of a high CO2 world and ocean acidifcation on marine biota.  Remote sensing.  Maintaining time series.  Safe data storage.  Access to marine biogeochemical data.

Publications: EPrints Digital Repository

Key Responsibilities

  • Director for Postgraduate Research, School of Environmental Sciences
  • Adviser, School of Environmental Sciences
  • Module Organiser, ENV-4007B Atmosphere and Oceans
  • First Aider at Work

Research Group or Lab Membership

Teaching Interests

Since 2018 I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


I teach on:

ENV-4004Y Research and Field Skills (Slapton Field Course)

ENV-4007B Atmosphere and Oceans (Module Organiser)

ENV-5020K Marine Sciences Field Course

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Groningen

… → 1998

Master of Science, Wageningen University and Research

… → 1991

Media Expertise

  • Oceanography
  • Engineering
  • Atmospheric science
  • Carbon cycle

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or