What can life in the ocean tell us about climate change and human health?

CIFAR's Global Call for Ideas invited applicants from all over the world to propose an important research question they want to address. We chose 12 finalists, and will announce the final selection in May. Find out more about this finalist.

Oceans absorb over one-third of the carbon dioxide humans send into the atmosphere each day, consequently slowing the pace of global warming. They also store more carbon than they release, often keeping it sequestered for thousands of years.

Yet, in spite of its massive presence in the oceans, little is known about this fascinating organic network of chemicals produced and consumed by the oceanic microbiome, made up of bacteria, archaea, microeukaryotes, and viruses.

The Microbial Metabolites in the Ocean Carbon Cycle program will seek to understand this complex system, giving us important insights into the future of climate change, and could also have implications for understanding microbes important for agriculture and even for human health.


  • Mary Ann Moran is a distinguished professor at the University of Georgia department of marine sciences.
  • Elizabeth Kujawinski is an associate scientist in the department of marine chemistry and geochemistry at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Find out more about the other short-listed Global Call proposals