Tromsø Research Foundation’s Starting Grant is a highly competitive, and attractive funding for early career scientists. Mohamed Ezat is awarded the grant for the project The Arctic Ocean under Warm Climates (ARCLIM).
Text: Maja Sojtaric
Arctic regions are warming much faster than the rest of the Earth due to current global warming, a phenomenon known as Arctic amplification. This has profound implications for other systems all over the world, such as global ocean- and atmosphere circulation, future sea-level rise, the carbon cycle, and resource management.
Mohamed Ezat’s project aims to decipher the past to better understand our future. The research will gaze into the warming periods of both historical past dating back 2000 years, but also as far back as 3,5 million years, to examine how global warmings have impacted the Arctic Ocean and the current that connects it to the rest of the oceans: AMOC.
«As the Arctic is warming rapidly due to global warming, it is of paramount importance to be able to predict how the Arctic Ocean will function in the future. The proposed project aims to improve the understanding of the functioning, sensitivity, and tipping points of the Arctic Ocean during past warm periods, which will help scientists to draw reflections to the future development of the Arctic Ocean. As such it is a novel research proposal.» said one of the external scientific reviewers of the project.
Ezat will employ an interdisciplinary approach, including pioneering biogeochemical analyses, to examine microfossils found in the sediments of the Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans. He will collaborate with a group of international partners to achieve this goal.
“ARCLIM will utilize ocean-floor sediments as a recorder of past climate and ocean dynamics to provide insights into what the future climate holds for us, in particular in the northern high latitude regions. I hope this knowledge will potentially help nations in mitigating the risks of ongoing global warming.” says Ezat.
Building new laboratory infrastructure is part of the project, which Ezat hopes will be the legacy of ARCLIM also long after the project period is over.
“The new laboratory infrastructure that we will establish at the Department of Geosciences will be used by scientists, both in Tromsø but also from international institutions, to conduct cutting-edge research in years to come,” says Ezat.
Ezat will now establish a group of early-career scientists, two Ph.D.’s and two postdocs, who will contribute to the project. He has received funding of 25 million over four years.
Mohamed Ezat received his PhD from UiT The Arctic University of Norway in 2015. After his PhD he has been associated with CAGE Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate Environment and Climate as postdoc and researcher. Since March 2018, Ezat has been working as a Marie-Curie Fellow at the University of Cambridge (UK). The TFS STarting Grand brings him now back to UiT.
Tromsø Research Foundation (TFS) was created is founded on the basis of a generous 400 MNOK contribution by Norwegian Businessman Trond Mohn. The foundation aims to provide funding and support for long-term research and research-promoting activities, including research-based recruitment at UiT The Arctic University of Norway.
TFS Starting Grant: Since 2016, the foundation had annual calls for applications to a four-year recruitment program for outstanding young researchers to UiT. This provides UiT with a unique strategic opportunity to draw leading up-and-coming scientists from all over the world to the university. The candidates undergo a thorough external evaluation process and those selected are interviewed by the foundation’s advisory committee. To date, a total of six candidates have been recruited through the program. One of them is CAGE researcher Andreia Plaza Faverola who’s project SEAMSTRESS was funded in 2018.