Dr. Aron Stubbins
Skidaway Institute of Oceanography
10 Ocean Science Circle
Savannah, Georgia 31411
Telephone: (912) 598-2320
Fax: (912) 598-2310
B.Sc. in Marine Biology with Honours, Newcastle University, UK, 1998
Ph.D. in Marine Biogeochemistry, Newcastle University, UK, 2001
Associate Editor of Estuarine and Coastal Shelf Science
Associate Editor Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences
If you are interested in undergraduate intern, graduate student or postdoc positions within the Stubbins laboratory, please contact
Glaciers: A window into man’s impact upon the global carbon cycle
Dissolved Black Carbon
Marsh Carbon Cycling
Pulse Shunt Concept of River Carbon Cycling
The Pulse Shunt Concept: Collaborator Pete Raymond talks on River Carbon
Fire in the Ocean: Collaborator Thorsten Dittmar on Black Carbon
Groves Creek, Skidaway Island, December 2013
In the news:
THAWING PERMAFROST FEEDS CLIMATE CHANGE
26 hours on the marsh (About UGA)
26 hours on the marsh (Connect SAV)
Black Carbon Mobilization
Biogeochemistry: Ancient organics reign on glaciers
Scientists Unlock Record of Ecosystem Changes Frozen in World's Glaciers
Manmade carbon may be affecting ocean food web
| Research Interests and Projects |
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
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.
Current and Recent Projects:
2015-2016 Chinese Academy of Science President’s International Fellowship
Initiative. Dissolved Organic Matter Compositions of the Everest Ice Core.
Sole PI. ~$10,000 for travel and fieldwork associated with time in
Beijing and on the Tibetan Plateau.
2015-2018 NSF: DEB. Collaborative Research: Linking microbial
diversity, gene expression, and the transformation of terrestrial organic
matter in major U.S. rivers. Byron Crump (Oregon State University), Peter
Raymond (Yale), George Aiken (USGS), A. Stubbins (SkIO, UGA).
2014 German Research Foundation (DFG): Support to attend “Geo-metabolomics: first steps
towards a systems biology understanding of organic matter cycling in aquatic
systems” workshop as a group discussion leader, Delmenhorst, Germany.
2014 Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation: Support to organize and steer the “Linking
microbes and DOM” workshop, New York.
2014 Microsoft Research Division: Support for Biogeochemistry
Data System (BGC-DS) development and Alaskan fieldwork.
2014-2019 NSF: Macrosystems Biology. Collaborative
Research: RUI: The Pulse-Shunt Concept: A conceptual framework for quantifying
and forecasting watershed DOM fluxes and transformations at the MacroSystem
2014-2017 NSF: Biological Oceanography. Collaborative
Research: Marine priming effect - molecular mechanisms for the
biomineralization of terrigenous dissolved organic matter in the ocean.
2013 Microsoft Research Division: Support for
Biogeochemistry Data System (BGC-DS) development and Alaskan fieldwork.
2012-2015 NSF: Chemical Oceanography. Tempo and mode of
2012-2014 NSF: Division of Environmental Biology.
Collaborative research: Is the export of ancient, labile carbon from glacial
ecosystems driven by the deposition of fossil fuel combustion byproducts?
2010-2013 Hanse-Wissenschaftkolleg Marine and Climate
Research Fellowship. Isolation, sources, and fate of black carbon in the ocean.
2013 Microsoft Research Division: Support for 3rd
Biogeochemistry Data System (BGC-DS) workshop and development.
2013 ASLO: Emerging Issues Workshop at the 2013 Aquatic
Sciences meeting. Title: Linking Optical and Chemical Properties of Dissolved
Organic Matter in Natural Waters.
2009-2012 NSF: Chemical Oceanography. Development of a
high-precision TOC analyzer with a nM detection limit.
2012 Alfred Wegener Institute proposal granted to join FS
Polarstern cruise to Fram Strait to assess quantity and quality of organic
matter exchanged between Arctic and Atlantic Oceans.
2012 Microsoft Research Division: Support for 2nd
Biogeochemistry Data System (BGC-DS) workshop and development.
2009-2011 DOE-SBIR (Topic 26-d) Phase II. A Novel Low
Cost, High Efficiency, Algal Biomass Harvest and Dewatering Technology for
2007-2011 NSF: Chemical Oceanography. Collaborative
Research: Comprehensive Chemical Characterization of Marine Dissolved Organic
Matter using Efficient Isolation Coupled to Advanced Analytical Techniques.
Moran, M. A., E. B. Kujawinski, A. Stubbins, R. Fatland, L. I. Aluwihare, A. Buchan, B. C. Crump, P. C. Dorrestein, S. T. Dyhrman, N. J. Hess, B. Howe, K. Longnecker, P. M. Medeiros, J. Niggemann, I. Obernosterer, D. J. Repeta, and J. R. Waldbauer. 2016. Deciphering ocean carbon in a changing world. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113(12): 3143-3151. doi:10.1073/pnas.1514645113
Hawkes, J. A., P. E. Rossel, A. Stubbins, D. Butterfield, D. P. Connelly, E. P. Achterberg, A. Koschinsky, V. Chavagnac, C. T. Hansen, W. Bach, and T. Dittmar. 2015. Efficient removal of recalcitrant deep-ocean dissolved organic matter during hydrothermal circulation. Nature Geoscience 8:856-860. doi: 10.1038/ngeo2543
Mopper, K., D. Kieber, and A. Stubbins. 2015. Marine photochemistry of organic matter: processes and impacts. In Biogeochemistry of Marine Dissolved Organic Matter (Second Edition), ed. Dennis A. Hansell, and Craig A. Carlson, 389-450. Academic Press, Burlington. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-405940-5.00008-X
Spencer, R. G. M., P. J. Mann, T. Dittmar, T. I. Eglinton, C. McIntyre, R. M. Holmes, N. Zimov, and A. Stubbins. 2015. Detecting the signature of permafrost thaw in Arctic rivers. Geophysical Research Letters 42(8): 2830-2835. doi: 10.1002/2015GL063498
Stubbins, A., and T. Dittmar. 2015. Illuminating the deep: Molecular signatures of photochemical alteration of dissolved organic matter from North Atlantic Deep Water. Marine Chemistry 177, Part 2: 318-324. doi: 10.1016/j.marchem.2015.06.020
Stubbins, A., R. Spencer, P. J. Mann, R. M. Holmes, J. McClelland, J. Niggemann, and T. Dittmar. 2015. Utilizing colored dissolved organic matter to derive dissolved black carbon export by Arctic rivers. Frontiers in Earth Science 3:63. doi: 10.3389/feart.2015.00063
Dittmar, T., and A. Stubbins. 2014. Dissolved organic matter in aquatic systems. In Treatise on geochemistry, ed. H. D. Holland, and K. K. Turekian, 25-156. Oxford: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-08-095975-7.01010-X
Stubbins, A., J. -F. Lapierre, M. Berggren, Y. Prairie, T. Dittmar, and P. del Giorgio. 2014. What’s in an EEM? Molecular signatures associated with dissolved organic fluorescence in boreal Canada. Environmental Science and Technology 8(18): 10598-10606. doi: 10.1021/es502086e
Jaffé, R., Y. Ding, J. Niggemann, A. V. Vähätalo, A. Stubbins, R. G. M. Spencer, J. Campbell, and T. Dittmar. 2013. Global charcoal mobilization from soils via dissolution and riverine transport to the oceans. Science 340 (6130): 345-347. doi: 10.1126/science.1231476
Stubbins, A., E. Hood, P. A. Raymond, G. R. Aiken, R. L. Sleighter, P. J. Hernes, D. Butman, P. G. Hatcher, R. G. Striegl, P. Schuster, H. A. N. Abdulla, A. W. Vermilyea, D. T. Scott, and R. G. M. Spencer. 2012. Anthropogenic aerosols as a source of ancient dissolved organic matter to glaciers. Nature Geoscience 5:198-201. doi: 10.1038/ngeo1403
Full Publication List