South African Young Academy of Science

Sarah Fawcett

Sarah Fawcett

Dr Sarah Fawcett is a Lecturer in the Department of Oceanography at the University of Cape Town (UCT). She received her undergraduate Honours degree from Harvard University in 2006 and her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2012. Dr. Fawcett’s research is focused on understanding the complex relationships between biogeochemical fluxes and primary productivity in the ocean on a variety of scales, with implications for past, present, and future climate, ecosystem structure and function, ocean fertility, and global biogeochemical cycles. Her principle tool is precise and novel measurements of the stable isotopes of nitrogen, and she is currently developing a marine isotope laboratory at UCT that will be the first of its kind in Africa. Dr. Fawcett works on questions of global relevance, such as the role of the Southern Ocean in past and present climate, as well as of local importance, such as water quality and ecosystem health in False Bay. In 2017, she was awarded an NRF P-rating, which recognizes that she is “likely to become a future international leader in [her] field, on the basis of exceptional potential demonstrated in research performance and output during [her] early career”. In 2017, she received the South African Network for Coastal and Oceanic Research (SANCOR) Young Researchers Award and a Claude Leon Merit Award for Early-Career Researchers, and was named one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans. In 2018, she was a recipient of the UCT College of Fellows Young Researcher Award.