SCOR Working Group 166

Developing resources for the study of Methylated Sulfur compound cycling PROcesses in the ocean (DMS-PRO)

Simplified scheme of the cycling of relevant organic methylated sulfur compounds in the upper ocean and lower atmosphere. Adapted from Thume et al. (2018).

Organic methylated sulfur compounds (MSCs) play key roles in planktonic food webs as important carbon and sulfur substrates and also as infochemicals that mediate biological interactions. In addition, the oceanic emission of biogenic volatile MSCs to the atmosphere acts as a source of aerosols, which impact cloud formation and properties, and hence climate. In order to understand the role of MSCs in the Earth system, it is essential to have access to accurate rate measurements of the biotic and abiotic processes involved in the cycling of these compounds.

One of the main objectives of the DMS-PRO working group is to establish a comprehensive and open-access database of quality-controlled MSC cycling rates. The WG will fully evaluate the analytical procedures and uncertainties in the quantification of MSC cycling rates and will synthesize and publish its findings and recommendations on standardized operating practices. The overarching objective of DMS-PRO is to establish an international community of practice focused on research, capacity development, and oceanographic multidisciplinary collaboration focused on the oceanic biogeochemical sulfur cycle.

DMS-PRO has members from 14 different countries, with complementary expertise in the fields of chemical and microbial oceanography, molecular microbiology, photochemistry, sea-air exchange, biogeochemical modelling, and database setup and management. The diversity of perspectives and interdisciplinary skills ensures that the WG will significantly advance the understanding of MSC cycling processes and will produce impactful science of interest to a wide community.


Martí Galí (Spain), Daniela del Valle (Argentina)
Other Full Members
Steve Archer (USA), José González (Spain), Hakase Hayashida (Japan), Frances Hopkins (UK), Sohiko Kameyama (Japan), Erin McParland (USA), Jacqueline Stefels (Netherlands), Marcos Zárate (Argentina)
Associate Members
Hermann Bange (Germany), Eva Bucciarelli (France), Elisabeth Deschaseaux (Australia), Brandon McNabb (Canada), Ki-Tae Park (South Korea), Damodar Shenoy (India), Jon Todd (UK), Lenny Winkel (Switzerland), Gui-Peng Yang (China), Miming Zhang (China)
Ilka Peeken
Terms of Reference
  1. To develop community consensus on the measurement of MSC cycling rates, evaluate the suitability of available methods, and recommend standard operating practices (SOP).

  2. To compile a comprehensive database of MSC cycling rates in the ocean and to freely disseminate the database and related documentation according to the FAIR (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reusability) principles.

  3. To develop a framework for the quality assessment and control, standardization, and curation of MSC cycling datasets.

  4. To analyze and summarize the patterns of MSC cycling rates in the global ocean in relation to their abiotic and biotic environment.

  5. To provide expert guidance on the use of the MSC cycling database for model development and evaluation.

  6. To improve the coordination between measurements of MSC cycling rates and stocks, and foster interdisciplinary research by relating these to other biogeochemical variables and molecular and ‘omics data.

  7. To establish an international community of practice focused on research, capacity development, and oceanographic multidisciplinary collaboration in the topic of oceanic S cycle.

October 2022
Financial Sponsors
  1. February 2023 (online)

  2. May 2023 (online)

  3. June 2023 (online)

  4. July 2023 (online)