Nicolas Cassar Named 2012 Sloan Research Fellow

February 14, 2012

Tim Lucas, 919-613-8084,

DURHAM, NC – Nicolas Cassar, assistant professor of earth and ocean sciences at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, has been selected as a 2012 Sloan Research Fellow.

Awarded annually by the Afred P. Sloan Foundation since 1955, the fellowships are given to early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them as rising stars. Each fellowship carries a $50,000, two-year award to help support the recipient’s research.

"Today's Sloan Research Fellows are tomorrow's Nobel Prize winners… These outstanding men and women are responsible for some of the most exciting science being done today. The foundation is proud to support them during this pivotal stage of their careers,” says foundation president Paul L. Joskow.

Cassar studies the biogeochemical and physiological mechanisms governing how carbon moves in the environment – from ocean to atmosphere, to plant and animal life – with the goal of better understanding global climate changes brought on by increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

His research, which has received funding from both the National Science Foundation and National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration and been published in Science and other influential peer-reviewed journals, provides important insights into the magnitude and processes controlling the oceanic uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide, one of the major determinants of the climate's long-term response to emissions from fossil fuel burning and deforestation.

In 2011, he took part in a 9-week international research expedition that circled the North Pole to survey physical, chemical and biological changes occurring in the Arctic Ocean.

Cassar holds a PhD in oceanography from the University of Hawaii, and a bachelor of science degree from McGill University.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation selected 126 U.S. and Canadian researchers for the prestigious fellowships this year. Cassar is joined by Jorg Grandl, assistant professor of neurobiology at Duke’s School of medicine, as one of two Duke researchers selected.