Skidaway Institute of Oceanography
10 Ocean Science Circle
Savannah, Ga. 31411
Office: (912) 598-2320
Fax: (912) 598-2477
B.Sc. in Marine Biology with Honours, Newcastle University, UK, 1998
Ph.D. in Marine Biogeochemistry, Newcastle University, UK, 2001
Our group studies an integral component of the global carbon cycle, dissolved organic matter (DOM). All forms of life release DOM, sometimes on purpose, sometimes as waste. DOM lost from one organism provides sustenance to others, including microorganisms at the base of the aquatic foodwebs that fuel our fisheries. DOM cycling also redistributes carbon between land, ocean and atmospheric stores. Rivers carry vast amounts of DOM from land to the ocean. The amount of carbon stored in the ocean as DOM is equivalent in magnitude to the carbon dioxide pool in the Earth’s atmosphere. Consequently, processes that alter how carbon is distributed between the ocean DOM pool and the atmospheric carbon dioxide pool can alter global climate as well as impacting ocean ecosystems.
The complexity of DOM chemistry and its biogeochemical roles make DOM incredibly rewarding to study. DOM contains thousands, if not millions or trillions, of different molecules. Each derived from a living organism and subsequently altered in the environment. On mass these molecules provide a suite of tracers carrying the signatures of each molecule’s source and subsequent history in the environment. Decoding these signatures is casting new light upon the biogeochemical cycles of the planet. Follow the links at the top of the page, and to our projects and papers below to learn more about DOM biogeochemistry from the deepest regions of the ocean, where hydrothermal vents are hotspots of DOM cycling, to glaciers and permafrost soils on the Tibetan Plateau, the very top of the world.