To get an idea of how Sarah Fawcett thinks, you need to look at the world map on her office wall. The South Pole is at the top.

Her finger traces along the west coast of Africa, down from Cape Town to the Equator. That’s where her research will focus over the next five years in her study of the dynamics of oxygen and its effect on biogeochemical cycles, atmospheric carbon dioxide and fish stocks in an ocean that is rapidly warming. The $9.5m project is supported by the Ocean Biogeochemistry Virtual Institute (OBVI) of Schmidt Sciences, a US philanthropic organisation...

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