Dr. Patricia (Paty) Matrai is a Senior Research Scientist at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in West Boothbay Harbor , Maine. She received her B.S. in marine biology at the Universidad de Concepción in Chile and went to Scripps Institution of Oceanography for graduate work, studying phytoplankton species distribution and organic sulfur cycling in marine waters. For several years she was research professor and faculty member at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Miami . She moved to Maine in 1995 to “grow more phytoplankton, find colder air, and include carbon dioxide” in her research.
Her current research interests involve chemical compounds relevant to climate and various oceanic environments, including Arctic regions. She has participated in over 30 research cruises, most recently to Antarctica 's Palmer Station. As a biological oceanographer, her principal interest has been in the role marine microalgae play in the production of gases of climatic relevance, such as dimethylsulfide, halogenated compounds, and, recently, CO2. Her research is highly interdisciplinary and incorporates laboratory, field, and remote sensing studies, mostly in collaboration with atmospheric chemistry colleagues. This research is key because ocean ecosystems are part of a complex geophysical-biogeochemical web that transforms matter and energy and sets the conditions for life on the surface of the Earth. A long term objective is to assess how the air-sea flux of biogenic gases impacts Earth's climate system in the present day and to predict how it will do so in the future.
Paty is also active in various national and international scientific committees, such as the ASLO Board ( treasurer 2008 - 2011 ), IGAC (1994-2001), NASA Earth Sciences Advisory Sub-committee (2006-2007), and SOLAS Science Steering Committee (vice-chair, 2000-2007).
Current Research Projects
2010-2015 NSF OPP AON “Collaborative Project: The O-Buoy Network of Chemical Sensors in the Arctic Ocean”
2010-2013 NASA OBB “The Autonomous Polar Productivity Sampling System (APPSS)”
2009-2012 NSF OPP ARC “Collaborative Research: Impacts of the Changing Seasonality of Wind-driven Mixing on the Arctic System”, $104,337
2008-2011 NSF OCE “Collaborative Research: Biological and physical controls on DMS production and emission during VOCALS”
2007-2010 NSF OPP ANS “Collaborative Research: Marine Microgels: A Microlayer Source of Summer CCN in High Arctic Open Leads”
Previous Research Projects
2007-2010 NSF OPP “SIRG- Collaborative Research: The O-Buoy Project: Engineering and Deployment of a Network of Arctic Ocean Chemical Sensors for the IPY and beyond”
2006-2009 NSF OPP ARCSS ”Collaborative Research: Producing an Updated Synthesis of the Arctic 's Marine Primary Production Regime and Its Controls”
2003-2008 NSF OPP/OCE “Biocomplexity: Complex Molecular to Global Interactions and Feedback in the Marine DMS Cycle”