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 Chemistry 


Organic Biogeochemistry

The organic biogeochemistry group at the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography (SkIO) investigates the reactivity of organic matter in aquatic environments by examining the molecular and isotopic composition of lipids in rivers, lakes and oceans.

Dynamic cycles link the distributions of the major elements between living and non-living organic matter and various inorganic reservoirs. The term "biogeochemistry" highlights the close coupling between biology, geology and chemistry in the multidisciplinary science that strives to understand the relationship between the biosphere and the geosphere.

Lipids are important biochemicals in organisms where they play roles in energy storage and mobilization, membrane structure, and hormonal regulation of metabolic processes. Due to their wide assortment of organic functional groups, the diverse molecular structures of lipids make them useful for tracing organic matter sources, alterations and transport. Additionally, stable- and radio-carbon isotopic compositions of individual lipid compounds provide a powerful tool for identifying lipid sources and for following carbon flow through ecosystems.


Global Ecology
Research on Global ecology at the Skidaway Institute focuses on determining the mechanisms controlling the flow of C, N, and P in ecosystems, from extremely large basin-wide scales to nanoscales. Tackling problems over such wide spatial scales provides a different view of diagenesis.
 
Examining Marine Phosphate Sources and Sinks using Advanced Spectromicroscopy and NMR Techniques - New Project with Ellery Ingall, GT, and Claudia Benitez-Nelson, USC

Dr. J. Brandes is currently working on a 3-year NSF- funded project to examine the phosphorus cycling in marine environments. He just completed his main cruises for this investigation in 2007 and is working up the data.



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