Judith is interested in understanding how oceans absorb and store carbon. In particular, she is interested in how biological processes such as biomass production via photosynthesis in phytoplankton, influences carbon uptake in the oceans, marine ecosystems, and the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. By incorporating atmospheric and ecosystem models, as well as current data on biological processing, she and her team simulate historical and current models to help better understand feedback loops of carbon cycles in the ocean and how these might vary with changing climate conditions.
Judith studied marine environmental sciences in Oldenburg in Germany, before moving to the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research for her Ph.D. For her thesis entitled “Processes in the Southern Ocean carbon cycle: Dissolution of carbonate sediments and inter-annual variability of carbon fluxes” she was awarded the Annette-Barthelt Award for the best Ph.D. thesis in the field of marine sciences in Germany. She is now head of the Helmholtz Young Investigator Group for Marine Carbon and Ecosystem Feedbacks in the Earth System (MarESys), as well as the Deputy Head of Marine Biogeosciences at the Alfred Wegener Institute. She is a member of several committees looking to assess and report on the global carbon budget and ocean carbon research.