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Dr Carlos Rocha

Dr Carlos Rocha

Telephone: +353-(0)1 896 3871
Postal Address:
Biogeochemistry Research Group
Department of Geography
Museum Building
Trinity College Dublin
Dublin 2

Biogeochemistry Research Group


Research Area

My personal interest focuses on the study of biogeochemical “hot” spots and moments. My research hence deals with fundamental problems of aquatic biogeochemistry that cut across traditional boundaries in the environmental sciences, (e.g. geochemistry, oceanography, hydrogeology, marine and microbial ecology, hydrology and the physics of fluids underpinning transport and reaction through porous media).

Since 2005, my main research effort has been the study of coastal systems hosting Submarine Groundwater Discharge (SGD), aiming to understand solute transfer dynamics and ecological impact in receiving ecosystems.


I am an Associate Professor in Environmental Change at the School of Natural Sciences, TCD. After graduating in Technological Chemistry with honours in 1991, I went on to obtain a PhD in Marine Chemistry “suma cum laude” at the University of Lisbon in 1997. My contribution to the field was recognised at an early stage by two national science awards (1999 & 2000) and a prestigious nomination for the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography Lindemann Award in 2001. Before joining Trinity College, I was a lecturer in Biogeochemistry and the deputy director of the Centre for Marine and Environmental research at the University of Algarve, Portugal.

Currently, I teach various aspects of Earth System Science at both under- and postgraduate level. I also lead the Biogeochemistry Research Group at Trinity College. As well as myself, the group consists today of 1 Associate Researcher, 2 postdoctoral fellows and 4 PhD students.

Our research focuses on the study of processes affecting the transport, fate and impact of chemical species, including contaminants, in aquatic ecosystems. These studies aim to increase, for example, our understanding of carbon and nutrient transport, bioavailability and reactivity in the aquatic environment. Our ultimate goal is to comprehend ecosystem functional plasticity in response to anthropogenic pressure, climate change and biological activity, leading to increased knowledge on the resilience of marine systems to environmental change.

Most Recent Papers

Lefèvre N, MF Montes, FL Gaspar, C Rocha, S Jiang, M Araújo and JS Ibánhez 2017. Net heterotrophy in the Amazon continental shelf changes rapidly to a sink of CO2 in the outer Amazon plume. Frontiers in Marine Science, in press, corrected proof. (DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2017.00278)

Oppelt A, M López Correa and C Rocha 2017. Biogeochemical analysis of the calcification patterns of cold-water corals Madrepora oculata and Lophelia pertusa along contact surfaces with calcified tubes of the symbiotic polychaete Eunice norvegica: Evaluation of a ‘mucus’ calcification hypothesis. Deep Sea Research Part I, in press, corrected proof. (DOI:10.1016/j.dsr.2017.08.006)

Lefèvre N, FS da Silva Dias, AR de Torres Jr, C Noriega, M Araújo, ACL de Castro, C Rocha, S Jiang and JS Ibánhez 2017. A source of CO2 to the atmosphere throughout the year in the Maranhense continental shelf (2°30’S, Brazil). Continental Shelf Research 141: 38-50. (DOI:10.1016/j.csr.2017.05.004)

Jiang S, M Kavanagh and C Rocha 2017. Evaluation of the suitability of vaccutainers for storage of nutrient and dissolved organic carbon analytes in water samples. Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 117 (1): 33-46. (DOI: 10:3318/BIOE.2017.01)

Wilson J, C Coxon and C Rocha 2016. A GIS and remote sensing based screening tool for assessing the potential for groundwater discharge to lakes in Ireland. Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 116B (3): 265-277. (DOI: 10.3318/bioe.2016.15)

Rocha C, C Veiga-Pires, J Scholten, K Knoeller, D Gröcke, L Carvalho, J Anibal, J Wilson 2016. Assessing land-ocean connectivity via Submarine Groundwater Discharge (SGD) in the Ria Formosa Lagoon (Portugal): combining radon measurements and stable isotope hydrology. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 20: 3077-3098. (DOI:

Wilson J & C Rocha 2016. A combined remote sensing and multi-tracer approach for localising and assessing groundwater-lake interactions. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 44: 195-204. (DOI: 10.1016/j.jag.2015.09.006)

Wilson J, C Rocha, C Coxon 2016. Combining Earth Observation and Geochemical Tracing Techniques for Groundwater Detection and Evaluation in Ireland (CONNECT). EPA Synthesis Report No. 172. Environmental Protection Agency, Johnstown Castle, Co. Wexford. (

Ibánhez JSP, C Rocha 2016. Oxygen transport and reactivity within a sandy seepage face in a mesotidal lagoon (Ria Formosa, Southwestern Iberia). Limnology & Oceanography 61: 61-77. (DOI: 10.1002/lno.10199)

Green D, B Boots, J Stigwart, S Jiang & C Rocha 2015. Effects of conventional and biodegradable microplastics on a marine ecosystem engineer (Arenicola marina) and sediment nutrient cycling. Journal of Environmental Pollution. (DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2015.10.010)

Rocha C, J Wilson, J Scholten & M Schubert 2015. Retention and fate of groundwater-borne nitrogen in a coastal bay (Kinvara Bay, Western Ireland) during summer. Biogeochemistry 125: 275-299. (DOI: 10.1007/s10533-015-0116-1)

Al-Ali AM, AG Del Campo & C Rocha 2015. Environmental assessment of Mangrove communities in Tarut Bay, Eastern Arabian Peninsula, based on multidisciplinary approach. Int. Arch. Photogramm. Remote Sens. Spatial Inf. Sci., XL-7/W3, 269-276. (DOI: 10.5194/isprsarchives-XL-7-W3-269-2015).

Green D, B Boots, DJ Blockley, C Rocha & R Thompson 2015. Impacts of discarded plastic bags on marine assemblages and ecosystem functioning. Environmental Science and Technology 49: 5380-5389. (DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b00277)

Schubert M, K Knoeller, C Rocha & F Einsiedl 2015. Evaluation and source attribution of freshwater contributions to Kinvarra Bay, Ireland, using 222Rn, EC and stable isotopes as natural indicators. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 187: 105-. (DOI: 10.1007/s10661-015-4274-3)

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Last updated 6 September 2017