Marine optics and Remote Sensing


The Marine Optics and Remote Sensing (MarSens) Research Group focuses on development and applications of in situ and remote sensing observations of marine particles – the living and the non-living, the organic and the inorganic – from the surface of the sea to the deep, dark ocean. Marine particles are an important component of marine ecosystems and play a crucial role in marine biogeochemical cycles. The MarSens group studies the spatiotemporal distribution, diversity, and ecological/biogeochemical roles of suspended particles in coastal and open ocean environments.

The Group’s research interests comprise: (1) theoretical modeling of optical properties of marine particles, (2) biogeochemical characterization of particles, (3) development of optical algorithms for remote sensing of particles, (4) development of optical sensors and methods for in situ (autonomous) observation of marine particles, (5) broad-ranging applications in marine biogeochemistry, plankton ecology, and water quality. Our research activities include theoretical and laboratory work, sensor development, work at sea and analyses of multiplatform datasets (in situ and remote sensing) to address a wide range of research questions in marine ecology and biogeochemistry. For example, in the ongoing ERC-CarbOcean project, the team is developing new optical sensors to better observe and understand the ocean’s biological carbon pump.

MarSens scanning

Scanning Electron Microscopy images depicting the diversity in sizes and shapes of marine particles (collected from the southern North Sea). (A) Large diatom chains (microphytoplankton), large diatoms, and mineral particles. (B, C, D) Smaller particles: nanophytoplankton, and small minerogenic particles. (C) diatoms attached to a mineral particle. (D) coccolithophores.



Contact information

Prof. Griet Neukermans
Ghent University, Department of Biology, Marine Optics and Remote Sensing (MarSens)
Campus De Sterre - S8, Floor 0
Krijgslaan 281
9000 Gent
tel: +32 (0)9 264 85 16