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Sam Dupont


Department of Biological & Environmental
Visiting address
45178 Fiskebäckskil
Postal address
Kristineberg 566
45178 Fiskebäckskil

About Sam Dupont

Description of my research profile My main research topic is on the effects of global changes (e.g. ocean acidification, warming) on marine species and ecosystems. My work aims at revealing the mechanisms behind species and ecosystem responses (physiology, ecology, evolution) to environmental changes and at developing a unifying theory for large scale projections. My main approach is to develop innovative experimental designs that capture the short and long term responses to environmental changes at different scales, from cell to ecosystem.

My research strategy is to combine fundamental and applied science. On one hand, I am addressing classic questions in biology (e.g. What is the cost of plasticity? What are the physiological mechanisms for digestion?); on the other, I design science to specifically address societal needs (e.g. science for societal mitigation and adaptation to global environmental changes). This approach has led to both highly specialized and technical work on larval physiology and a wide range of research topics ranging from –omics to ecology and from taxonomy to evolution.

Planned activities My current and future research activities aim at developing the required scientific information and the best communication strategies to mitigate and adapt to future global changes and specifically to address several of the United Nations Sustainable Developmental Goals. This will be achieved through 3 main research activities. 1. Ocean acidification and other global changes Our understanding of the global impacts of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems is growing rapidly. However, little is known about the consequences at the local scale, despite its critical importance for the development and implementation of adaptation strategies. Capitalizing on previous work, we are using best practices and established experimental approaches developed in my laboratory to build the needed forecasting power to project the impact of ocean acidification at the local scale. This includes:

  • fill up the research gaps limiting our understanding of ocean acidification at the local scale (multiple drivers, natural variability and local adaptation), as identified by a world leading group of experts;
  • combine this new knowledge with existing information to develop indexes/models allowing to project biological changes from monitored chemical changes;
  • implement these on the portal of the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON) to develop real-time projection maps;
  • communicate this information to all relevant stakeholders and ensure its use for carbon dioxide mitigation and development and implementation of specific adaptation solutions.

Overall, this will significantly contribute to the target of the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14.3: “minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification”. This is currently supported by a FORMAS grant [2018-2020]. We will work in close collaboration with one post-doc (Dr. Jeff Clement, funded by a Marie Curie grant) and 5 PhD Students (Ana Lopes, funded by FCT Portugal; Jossias Alberto Duvane, funded by SIDA; Nadjejda Espinel, funded by the University of Otago; Camilla Campanati, funded by the University of Hong Kong; Carla Edworthy, funded by South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity). We also have some support from the ACIDREEF project (L’Acidification des océans: l’autre problème des recifs coralliens), funded by the Fondation pour la Recherche sur la Biodiversité. 2. Sea food security and blue growth Dependence on marine protein is expected to continue to rise, as world capture fisheries and aquaculture are estimated to provide food to 4.3 billion people with at least 15% of their animal protein. However, these resources are threatened by several global environmental challenges (including ocean acidification) and it is therefore critical to better understand potential impacts in advance. In the next year, we will investigate the qualitative and quantitative impact of global changes on key seafood species through controlled laboratory experiment. Key species will be tested including shrimps and oysters. This work will be done together with a post-doctoral researcher, Dr. Kirti Ramesh (funded through the Carl Tryggers foundation for 2 years). we will also contribute to the IAEA Coordinated Research Project on “Evaluating the Impacts of Ocean Acidification on Seafood - A Global Approach” that would allow to perform similar experiments in many developping countries around the world and provide a global perspective. We will also explore new methods for sustainable aquatic production (e.g. aquaculture practices, new food sources, etc.) This will be done through my involvement in SUREAQUA (Nordic Centre for Sustainable and Resilient Aquatic Production; 3. Large scale collective actions, Communication and Education research Working on global changes, the value of our work strongly rely on our ability to communicate complex science and technology to a range of stakeholders from industry, general public to decision makers as well as the scientific community. As PI of the Inquiry to Student Environmental Actions project (I2SEA;, I developed, implemented and evaluated new tools for students to be better equipped to understand and act upon global challenges. I am also in close contact with policy makers but wanted to further explore the potential of new science communication strategies, including the use of new technologies, for a targeted and efficient impact on stakeholders to drive the required changes needed to achieve a sustainable future. For that purpose, I co-founded a pioneering interdisciplinary research centre focusing on large-scale collective action (the Centre for Collective Action Research, CeCAR; The Centre for Collective Action Research is a research center at the University of Gothenburg which is organizationally located at the Department of Political Science. CeCAR involves experts from the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Social Sciences, the School of Business Economics and Law, the Faculty of Arts as well as the Faculty of Education. In addition, CeCAR has an international advisory board with world leading scholars as well as policymakers. In the next years, we will test different communication strategies to drive changes at both citizen and policy maker levels. For example, we will explore how physical metaphors can add an emotional and physical dimension to science communication, allowing a better understanding of otherwise invisible threats, and move from knowledge to passion. 4. Capacity Building Over the last 5 years, I have been involved in a large scale capacity building on ocean acidification. I am the focal point for the capacity building program of the Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre (OA-ICC). It allowed me to design an international program on “ocean acidification” aiming at teaching best practices to early career scientists from developing countries. This is a structure combination of beginners and advanced courses with complex learning outcomes beyond simple knowledge transfer or simple understanding. As a consequence, the curriculum was developed to adapt the teaching style to learning outcomes related to technical skills, critical thinking, or interaction/communication. This can be better achieved through use of different active learning techniques and the course included interactive lectures, laboratories, thematic discussions, Joined activities and group assignments. I taught this course in Chile (2014), South Africa (2015), China (2015), Mozambique (2016), Tasmania (2016), Mauritius (2016), Mexico (2016), Senegal (2017), Kuwait (2017), Costa Rica (2017), Jordan (2018), Kuwait (2018), Monaco (2018) and Sweden (2018).