Christa Marandino is a chemical oceanographer/atmospheric chemist whose research focuses on air-sea interactions, specifically dealing with how trace gases produced and consumed in the ocean influence atmospheric chemistry and climate. She is interested in understanding how the integrated Earth system works, from small to large scales and across several disciplines, using a variety of modeling, field, and lab techniques. Her expertise is in direct air-sea trace gas flux measurements using the eddy covariance technique and process studies in the ocean’s euphotic zone. She believes that understanding natural background processes in the Earth system is fundamental for predicting future changes due to anthropogenic perturbations. Her current research projects include studying emissions of dimethylsulphide (DMS) and isoprene and their influence on aerosols and climate in the Southern Ocean, using aerial drones to measure atmospheric concentration gradients, deploying autonomous CO2 eddy covariance flux systems on ships of opportunity, investigating marine sulfur emissions and their influence on tropospheric and stratospheric sulfur loading/climate, and investigating air-sea interactions of trace elements in oxygen minimum zones.
Christa received her PhD from the University of California, Irvine in 2007, where she developed an open ocean eddy covariance system to measure DMS and acetone fluxes. She was the first to measure acetone fluxes in the open ocean. During her postdoctoral work in California and in Kiel, Germany as a Humbolt Fellow, Christa intensified her understanding of biogeochemical cycling in the euphotic zone studying production and consumption of oxygenated volatile organic compounds, DMS, and isoprene in the upper ocean. In 2012 she was awarded a Helmholtz Young Investigator Group at GEOMAR and became a W1 professor. Since then she has built up her own group consisting of several postdocs, PhD, masters and bachelor students working on a variety of projects related to trace gas air-sea interactions.