Jay Brandes


Department of Marine Sciences and Skidaway Institute of Oceanography

University of Georgia Athens
10 Ocean Science Circle
Savannah, Ga. 31411
Office: (912) 598-2361
Fax: (912) 598-2310
Email: jay.brandes@skio.uga.edu

B.S. Humboldt State University, Chemistry
B.S. Humboldt State University, Oceanography
M.Sc. University of Washington, Oceanography
Ph.D. University of Washington, Oceanography [Chemistry]

Professional Background:

Director, Skidaway Island Scientific Stable Isotope Laboratory (SISSIL)

Research Interests:

I am a marine and freshwater chemist who uses a variety of tools and techniques to study carbon and nutrient cycling, micro-plastic pollution and their interactions with light (photochemistry), and aquatic life on a wide range of scales. My lab’s main analytical techniques are the measurements of the stable isotopes of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen to determine sources, pathways and rates. In addition my lab uses different spectroscopic techniques such as X-ray and Raman microscopy to explore processes at the smallest scales. I particularly enjoy working out new techniques to allow for different perspectives on environmental problems.

Currently I am funded by NSF to study the photochemical conversion of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) to CO2 and other inorganic forms of carbon using isotope dilution liquid chromatography-Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry. In addition, I have begun another NSF collaboration to examine the interactions between doliolids (small gelatinous zooplankton), their prey, and their local microenvironment with Dr. Frischer and Dr. Greer at SkIO. I have also been involved in examining the issue of plastic pollution in Georgia’s waters, especially the issue of microplastic contamination. This work is in collaboration with Dodie Sanders of UGA-MAREX, and involves the active participation of a variety of volunteers in sample collection and processing. A new confocal Raman microscope, installed at SkIO in 2020, aids in the identification of plastic type in samples.


SISSIL Analysis Facility

Confocal Raman Microscope


Microplastics Research

Prospective Students