Dr. Sutton's research focus is on characterizing the extent and magnitude of ocean acidification in surface waters of the open ocean, coastal, and coral reef environments. Specifically, she is interested in using interdisciplinary approaches to explore how physical and biological mechanisms, such as the El Niño/Southern Oscillation and coral reef metabolism, drive variations in ocean carbon chemistry across time and space. One of these approaches uses autonomous instrumentation on mooring platforms to better understand the natural variability and long-term trends in ocean carbon.
She is also interested in how science can inform management and policy discussions and has worked in Washington DC as a Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellow and Congressional Affairs Specialist at NOAA for 3 years covering ocean and atmospheric research topics, especially climate change, addressed by the U.S. Congress. She continues to pursue her interests in science policy and outreach.