August 3, 2021

The ULPGC measures the respiration of the oceans – The Province

The ULPGC measures the respiration of the oceans - The Province


The researcher Theodore-Train Packard, who is working in the Research Group on Ecophysiology of Marine Organisms (EOMAR) of the University Institute ECOAQUA of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC), has made a research article entitled 'From the forests of Thoreau to the Canary Islands: Exploring the ocean biogeochemistry through the enzymology'

In this work, the Packard researcher recounts his own odyssey in his exploration of the use of enzymatic reactions as indexes of chemical-oceanographic process rates and describes their scientific contributions from 1963.

In order to elucidate the biogeochemical processes in marine ecosystems, investigated the physiology and biochemistry responsible for the respiratory processes in marine organisms. His research begins at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute where he carried out studies on the Krebs Cycle in the clam 'Venus mercenaria', to obtain his degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). These investigations continue in the Marine Laboratory of Friday Harbor of the University of Washington (UW) developing his master's thesis on the succinate dehydrogenase activity as an index of respiration in 'Artemia salina'.

Later he carried out his Doctoral Thesis in the UW on the Electrons Transport System (ETS) responsible for respiratory consumption, using this new methodology for the determination of the UOR in the oceans. This new enzymatic assay facilitated the first direct measurements of metabolism in deep waters and allowed to perform biochemical calculations of Respiratory Oxygen Utilization (UOR) in Pacific Ocean waters.

He continued his research at the Bigelow Laboratory of Oceanic Sciences (BLOS) in the state of Maine and at the Maurice Lamontagne Institute (IML) in Quebec. In 2006, and using the stability of his pension, he joined the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC), where he catalyzes new ideas on the metabolism of the ocean. The article integrates his autobiography with part of the recent history of oceanography.

The article also shows that science flourishes when scientists have vision, a place to work, economic stability, at least moderate levels of scientific equipment and equipment, colleagues to lean on and competent and enthusiastic students.

This scientific publication is the product of an invitation to collaborate in the series "Food for thought", published by one of the most prestigious journals in Oceanography. The editor, Dr. Howard Browman, was looking for prestigious marine scientists to document his contribution to science and transmit his scientific vision to future generations of oceanographers.

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