Dr. Jonathan Hawkings

Dr. Jonathan Hawkings
Building C, Room 127
14473 Potsdam

Function and Responsibilities:

I started a Horizon2020 MSCA (Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions) Global Fellowship in September 2018, entitled ICICLES (  Iron and  Carbon  Interactions and Biogeochemical  Cyc  Ling in Subglacial  Eco  Systems). I am hosted by GFZ-Potsdam (Prof Liane Benning) and Florida State University (Dr Rob Spencer), in collaboration with Prof Mark Skidmore (Montana State University) and the SALSA subglacial lake drilling project, and Prof Jemma Wadham (University of Bristol). 


The main objective of ICICLES is to investigate the cycling and interactions between iron and carbon (as organic matter) in subglacial environments. The nutrients sourced from these environments might have an impact on downstream ecosystem productivity. This is of particular importance as the Southern Ocean, which surrounds Antarctica, is the world’s largest high nutrient low chlorophyll region, where iron is the primary limiting element for life. Organic matter is particularly important in the cycling of iron because it is thought to play a major role in regulating its flux and associated bioavailability, and may also be an important source of bioavailable carbon for secondary production.   
Iron and organic matter in waters and sediment samples from three sites at the bottom of the Antarctic Ice Sheet (via the SALSA project), and from sites in Greenland and Patagonia (with collaborators at the University of Bristol), will be characterised using state-of-the-art spectroscopic and microscopic techniques. A side project will look into the changes in iron and carbon speciation (both particulate and dissolved species) in fjord environments, as fresh glacial meltwaters mix with seawater.   
You can find out more about my research and follow progress of ICICLES at:  
The ICICLES project received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 793962. 

Research Interests:

- Iron, phosphorus, nitrogen, silica, carbon and trace element (e.g. Mo, V, Mn) production, cycling, interconnections and export from glacial environments and transformations in near coastal regions.
- Current interest centered on the Antarctic Ice Sheet, Greenland Ice Sheet, the Patagonia Ice Fields and the Himalayas. 
- Perturbations in the biological pump in the oceans surrounding glaciated environments. 
- Understanding the sensitivity of nutrient fluxes to increased mass loss from glaciers.
- Mineralogy, speciation and reactivity ("biolability") of particulate nutrients in freshwater and marine environments.
- Novel and interdisciplinary methodologies to investigate dissolved and particulate element composition, speciation and associations. Examples include FT-ICR-MS (for organic matter characterisation), synchrotron based spectroscopy, high resolution microscopy (HR-TEM), ICP-MS (for elemental analyses) and colorimetric nutrient analyses (via manual methods and continuous flow analyses). 
- Glacier meltwater hydrology and field based electrochemical gauging.


Current position:
September 2018 - present: MSCA Global Fellow, project ICICLES, Florida State University/GFZ-Potsdam
Previous positions:
December 2017 - September 2018: Research Associate/Researcher Co-I, project "Sub-ice weathering: a missing link in the global silicon cycle?", School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol
December 2016 - December 2017: Research Associate/Researcher Co-I, project "PISCES - Patagonian Ice Field Shrinkage Impacts on Coastal and Fjord Ecosystems", School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol (www.projectpisces.science) 
October 2015 - June 2016: Temporary Lecturer, Bristol Glaciology Centre, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol
September 2015 - December 2016: Research Associate, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol


October 2011 - September 2015: PhD, "Production and Export of Bioavailable Nutrients Under Glaciers"
School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, 
October 2005 - July 2009: MSci Geography
School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol


Developed Projects
Funding for synchrotron beamtime
- May 2016: “The Biogeochemical Cycling of Nutrients in the Antarctic Subglacial Lake Whillans”, Diamond Light Source (UK), I08 beamline
- October 2014: “Do Chemically Distinct Iron Nanoparticle Species control iron Delivery into the Northern Polar Oceans?”, Diamond Light Source (UK), I08 beamline
- September 2018-present: “ICICLES - Iron and Carbon Interactions and Biogeochemical CycLing on Subglacial EcosystemS”, MSCA Global Fellowship
Projects as collaborator
- Present: "SALSA - Subglacial Antarctic Lakes Scientific Access", NSF, with Prof Mark Skidmore (
Projects as Researcher Co-I
- January 2018-present: “Sub-ice weathering: a missing link in the global silicon cycle?”, Leverhulme Trust, awarded to Prof Jemma Wadham, University of Bristol
- January 2017-present: "PISCES - Patagonian Ice Field Shrinkage Impacts on Coastal and Fjord Ecosystems", joint NERC-CONICYT, awarded to Prof Jemma Wadham, University of Bristol
- September 2016-present: “The Power of Glacial Flour: A new path to sustainable agriculture and boosted crop production in the developing world”, Cabot Institute funded pilot study, awarded to Prof Jemma Wadham, University of Bristol
Projects as Researcher
- October 2011-December 2016: "DEVLE - Development and Validation of the Next Generation of Biogeochemical Sensor for the Cryosphere", NERC

Research Boards and Committees:

Guest Editor, Water, 2019 special issue - "Observing and Monitoring the Subglacial Hydrological Environment in a Changing Climate"


- European Association of Geochemistry, Early Career Science Ambassador 2017
- Goldschmidt 2015 Student Ambassador - outstanding abstract in Biogeochemistry

publications are currently loading
back to top of main content