Philippe Tortell


Academic History

  • B.Sc. McGill (1994) M.A. Princeton University (1997); 
  • Ph.D. Princeton University (2001)

Contact Information

  • 604-822-4728
  • ESB-room 2065
  • Lab Phone: 604-822-6088

Research Interests

I am a sea-going oceanographer with broad interests in marine biogeochemical cycles.  Current work in my research group focuses on understanding the biological, chemical and physical factors regulating oceanic primary productivity and the concentration of climate active gases including carbon dioxide (CO2), dimethylsulfide (DMS), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O).  My group has made significant contributions to the development and implementation of new measurement techniques based on sea-going mass spectrometry, optical measurements and tracer-based rate incubation experiments.    Our Research includes controlled laboratory studies and extensive field campaigns to a number of ocean regions.  Current field areas of interest include the Subarctic Pacific Ocean, Canadian Arctic Archipelago and a variety of coastal Antarctic systems.

Team Members

Ana Franco, Post-Doctoral Fellow
Sacchidanandan Pillai, PhD
Brandon McNabb, M.Sc.
Yayla Sezginer, Ph.D.
Katarina Schuler, Ph.D.

Robert W. Izett and Philippe Tortell. ΔO2/N2′ as a tracer of mixed layer net community production: Theoretical considerations and proof-of-concept. 2021.  Limnology and Oceanography Methods,

Nina Schuback and Philippe D. Tortell.  2019. Diurnal regulation of photosynthetic light absorption, electron transport and carbon fixation in two contrasting oceanic environments.  Biogeosciences, 16, 1381–1399.

WJ Burt, Z. Chen, T Westberry, M Behrenfeld, J Graff, B Jones, and PD Tortell. 2018. Carbon to Chlorophyll ratios and net primary productivity of Subarctic Pacific surface waters derived from autonomous shipboard sensors.  Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Volume: 32   Issue: 2   Pages: 267-288,

Izett R., C. Manning, R. Hamme and PD Tortell.  2018. Refined estimates of net community production in the Subarctic Northeast Pacific derived from ΔO2/Ar measurements with N2O-based corrections for vertical mixing.  Global Biogeochemical Cycles. doi:10.1002/2017GB005792

Fenwick, L. and P. Tortell.  2018.  Methane and nitrous oxide distributions in coastal and open waters of the Northeast Subarctic Pacific during 2015-2016.  Marine Chemistry, volume 200 (20) Pages 45-56

Hoppe, C, Schuback, N, Seminuik D., Giesbrecht K., Mol J., Thomas H., Maldonado M., Rost B., Tortell P. Compensation of Ocean Acidification effects in Arctic phytoplankton assemblages.  2018. Nature Climate Change, 8, 529–533