Paty Matrai, PhD

Senior Research Scientist
Air-Sea Exchange Laboratory
Phone: +1 (207) 315-2567, ext. 305
Fax: +1 (207) 315-2329

For media inquiries, please contact


B.A., Marine Biology, Universidad de Concepción, 1981

M.S.,Biological Oceanography, Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO), Univ. California San Diego (UCSD),1984

Ph.D.,Biological Oceanography, SIO, UCSD,1988

Research Interests

I am interested in ocean and atmosphere interactions, especially in the biological production and cycling of organic sulfur compounds and primary organic aerosols. I am also interested in the physiological ecology of phytoplankton as a source (aquatic respiration) and a sink (primary production) of CO2. We have recently added phytoplankton-bacterial ecological interactions as controls of such processes. We have focused on these topics primarily in polar regions and particularly in the Arctic Ocean.

We utilize state-of-the-art analytical tools ranging from autonomous buoys to sea going gas chromatographs and scale up our results regionally and globally using data from satellites, ships, and scientific databases as we collaborate with Modelers on validation and optimization of ocean color, general circulation and earth system models, again focusing primarily on the Arctic Ocean.

Outreach Website



  • Gabric, A., P. Matrai, G. Jones, J. Middleton. The nexus between sea ice and polar emissions of marine biogenic aerosols. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0254.1.
  • Jin, M., Deal, C., Maslowski, W., P. Matrai, Roberts, A., Osinski, R., Lee, Y.J., Frants, M., Elliott, S., Jeffery, N. and Hunke, E., 2017. Effects of model resolution and ocean mixing on forced ice‐ocean physical and biogeochemical simulations using global and regional system models. J. Geophys. Res.Oceans. DOI: 10.1002/2017JC013365.


  • Lee, Y. J., P. A. Matrai, M. A. M. Friedrichs, V. S. Saba, O. Aumont, M. Babin, E.T. Buitenhuis, M. Chevallier, L. de Mora, M. Dessert, J.P. Dunne, I. Ellingsen, D. Feldman, R. Frouin, M. Gehlen, T. Gorgues, T. Ilyina, M. Jin, J.G. John, J. Lawrence, M. Manizza, C.E. Menkes, C. Perruche, V. Le Fouest, E. Popova, A. Romanou, A. Samuelsen, J. Schwinger, R. Séférian, C.A. Stock, J. Tjiputra, L.B. Tremblay, K. Ueyoshi, M. Vichi, A. Yool, and J. Zhang. Net primary productivity estimates and environmental variables in the Arctic Ocean: An assessment of coupled physical-biogeochemical models. J. Geophys. Res.-Oceans, 121:8635-8669, DOI 10.1002/2016JC011993.


  • Tremblay, J.-É., L. G. Anderson, P. Matrai, P. Coupel, S. Bélanger, C. Michel, M. Reigstad. Global and regional drivers of nutrient supply, primary production and CO2 drawdown in the changing Arctic Ocean. Progress in Oceanography, doi:10.1016/j.pocean.2015.08.009.
  • Lee, Y. J., P. A. Matrai, M. A. M. Friedrichs, V. S. Saba, D. Antoine, M. Ardyna, I. Asanuma, M. Babin, S. Belanger, M. Benoıt-Gagne, E. Devred, M. Fernandez-Mendez, B. Gentili, T. Hirawake, S.-H. Kang, T. Kameda, C. Katlein, S.H. Lee, Z. Lee, F. Melin, M. Scardi, T.J. Smyth, S. Tang, K.R. Turpie, K.J. Waters, and T.K. Westberry. An assessment of ocean color model estimates of primary productivity in the Arctic Ocean. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, FAMOS SI, 120:6508–6541, DOI 10.1002/2015JC011018. [Most accessed article in 2015 at JGR-Oceans]


  • Gabric, A., B. Qu, and P.A. Matrai. “Investigating the coupling between phytoplankton biomass, aerosol optical depth and sea-ice cover in the Greenland Sea”. Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans, 66:94-109.
  • Tjernström, M., C. Leck, C. E. Birch, J. W. Bottenheim, B. J. Brooks, I. M. Brooks, L. Bäcklin, R. Y.-W. Chang, E. Granath, M. Graus, A. Hansel, J. Heintzenberg, A. Held, A. Hind, S. de la Rosa, P. Johnston, J. Knulst, G. de Leuuw, L. di Liberto, M. Martin, P. A. Matrai, T. Mauritsen, M. Müller, S. J. Norris, M. V. Orellana, D. A. Orsini, J. Paatero, P. O. G. Persson, G. Qiuju, C. Rauschenberg, Z. Ristovski, J. Sedlar, M. D. Shupe, B. Sireau, A. Sirevaag, S. Sjogren, O. Stetzer, E. Swietlicki, M. Szczodrak, P. Vaattovaara, N. Wahlberg, M. Westberg, and C. R. Wheeler. “The Arctic Summer Cloud-Ocean Study (ASCOS): Overview and experimental design”. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Arctic Summer Cloud Ocean Study (ASCOS), (ACP/OS/AMT Inter-Journal SI), Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 2823–2869.
  • Halfacre, J. W., T. N. Knepp, P. B. Shepson, C. R. Stephens, K. A. Pratt, B. Li, P. K. Peterson, S. J. Walsh, W. R. Simpson, P. A. Matrai, J. W. Bottenheim, S. Netcheva, D. K. Perovich, and A. Richter. Temporal and spatial characteristics of ozone depletion events from measurements in the Arctic. Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 4875–4894, 2014.


  • Martí Galí, Rafel Simó, Maria Vila-Costa, Clara Ruiz-González, Jose li M. Gasol, Patricia Matrai "Diel patterns of oceanic dimethylsulfide (DMS) cycling: Microbial and physical drivers" Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 27, 620-636
  • Victoria J. Hill, Patricia A. Matrai, Elise Olson, S. Suttles, Mike Steele, L.A. Codispoti, Richard C. Zimmerman "Synthesis of integrated primary production in the Arctic Ocean: II. In situ and remotely sensed estimates" Progress in Oceanography, 110, 107–125
  • L.A. Codispoti, V. Kelly, A. Thessen, P. Matrai, S. Suttles, V. Hill, M. Steele, B. Light "Synthesis of primary production in the Arctic Ocean: III. Nitrate and phosphate based estimates of net community production" Progress in Oceanography, 110, 126–150
  • P.A. Matrai, E. Olson, S. Suttles, V. Hill, L.A. Codispoti, B. Light, M. Steele "Synthesis of primary production in the Arctic Ocean: I. Surface waters, 1954–2007" Progress in Oceanography, 110, 93–106


  • Paul B. Shepson, Parisa A. Ariya, Clara J. Deal, D. James Donaldson, Thomas A. Douglas, Brice Loose, Ted Maksym, Patricia A. Matrai, Lynn M. Russell, Benjamin Saenz, Jacqueline Stefels, Nadja Steiner "Changing Polar Environments: Interdisciplinary Challenges" EOS, 93, 117–124
  • Maria Herrmann, Raymond G. Najjar, Aimee R. Neeley, Maria Vila-Costa, John W. H. Dacey, Giacomo R. DiTullio, David J. Kieber, Ronald P. Kiene, Patricia A. Matrai, Rafel Simo, Maria Vernet "Diagnostic modeling of dimethylsulfide production in coastal water west of the Antarctic Peninsula" Continental Shelf Research, 32, 96–109


  • Kevin R. Arrigo, Patricia A. Matrai, and Gert L. van Dijken "Primary productivity in the Arctic Ocean: Impacts of complex optical properties and subsurface chlorophyll maxima on large‐scale estimates" Journal of Geophysical Res., 116, C11
  • Mónica V. Orellana, Patricia A. Matrai, Marta Janer, Carlton D. Rauschenberg "Dimethylsulfoniopropionate storage in phaeocystis (Prymnesiophyceae) secretory vesicles" J. Phycol. 47, 112–117
  • Mónica V. Orellana, Patricia A. Matrai, Caroline Leck, Carlton D. Rauschenberg, Allison M. Lee, Esther Coz "Marine microgels as a source of cloud condensation nuclei in the high Arctic" PNAS, 108


  • Jinlun Zhang, Yvette H. Spitz, Michael Steele, Carin Ashjian, Robert Campbell, Léo Berline, Patricia Matrai "Modeling the impact of declining sea ice on the Arctic marine planktonic ecosystem" Journal of Geophysical Res., 115, C10


  • P.A. Matrai, L. Tranvik, C. Leck, J.C. Knulst "Are high Arctic surface microlayers a potential source of aerosol organic precursors?" Marine Chemistry 108 (2008) 109–122
  • A.J. Gabric, P.A. Matrai, R.P. Kiene, R. Cropp, J.W.H. Dacey, G.R. DiTullio, R.G. Najjar, R. Simo, D.A. Toole, D.A. delValle, D. Slezak "Factors determining the vertical profile of dimethylsulfide in the Sargasso Sea during summer" Deep-Sea Res. II, 55, 1505–1518
  • K.E. Bailey, D.A. Toole, B. Blomquist, R.G. Najjar, B. Huebert, D.J. Kieber, R.P. Kiene, P. Matrai, G.R. Westby, D.A. del Valle "Dimethylsulfide production in Sargasso Sea eddies" Deep-Sea Res. II, 55, 1491–1504


  • Kalle Olli, Paul Wassmann, Marit Reigstad, Tatjana N. Ratkova, Elena Arashkevich, Anna Pasternak, Patricia A. Matrai, Johan Knulst, Lars Tranvik, Riina Klais, A. Jacobsen "The fate of production in the central Arctic Ocean – top–down regulation by zooplankton expatriates?" Progress in Oceanography, 72, 84–113
  • Patricia Matrai, María Vernet, Paul Wassmann "Relating temporal and spatial patterns of DMS li in the Barents Sea to phytoplankton biomass and productivity" Journal of Marine Systems, 67, 83–101


  • Donald M. Anderson, Charles A. Stock, Bruce A. Keafer, Amy Bronzino Nelson, Brian Thompson, Dennis J. McGillicuddy Jr., Maureen Keller, Patricia A. Matrai, Jennifer Martin "Alexandrium fundyense cyst dynamics in the Gulf of Maine" Deep-Sea Res. II, 52, 2522–2542
  • Albert J. Gabric, Bo Qu, Patricia Matrai, Anthony C. Hirst "The simulated response of dimethylsulfide production in the Arctic Ocean to global warming" Tellus, 57B, 391–403
  • P. Matrai, B. Thompson, M. Keller "Circannual excystment of resting cysts of Alexandrium spp. from eastern Gulf of Maine populations" Deep-Sea Res. II, 52, 2560–2568
  • Qu, B., A. Gabric and P.A. Matrai. “Spatial and temporal distribution of chlorophyll a and its relation to ice cover, radiation and sea surface temperature in theBarents Sea. Polar Biology, DOI 10.1007/s00300-005-0040-2.


  • Keller, M.D., P.A. Matrai, R. Kiene, and W. Bellows. “Responses of Coastal Phytoplankton Populations to Nitrogen Additions: Dynamics of cell -associated Dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP), Glycine Betaine (GBT) and Homarine”, Canadian J Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 61:685-699.
  • Leck, C., M. Tjernström, P. Matrai, E. Swietlicki and K. Bigg. “Can marine micro-organisms influence melting of the Arctic pack-ice?” EOS 85(3): 25, 30, 32.


  • Yvon-Lewis S.A., Butler J.H., Saltzman E.S., Matrai P. A., King D.B., Tokarczyk R., Moore R.M., and Zhang J-Z. Methyl Bromide Cycling in a Warm-Core Eddy of the North Atlantic Ocean. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 16 (4), 1141, doi:10.1029/2002GB001898.


  • Albert Gabric, Watson Gregg, Ray Najjar, David Erickson, Patricia Matrai "Modeling the biogeochemical cycle of dimethylsulfide in the upper ocean: a review" Chemosphere - Global Change Science 3, 377-392
  • Gabric, A. Gregg, W., Najjar, R., Erickson, D. and Matrai, P.A. Modeling the biogeochemical cycle of dimethylsulfide in the upper ocean: A review. Global Change Science, 3(4):377-392


  • A. J. Kettle, M. O. Andreae, D. Amouroux, T. W. Andreae, T. S. Bates, H. Berresheim, H. Bingemer, R. Boniforti, M. A. J. Curran, G. R. DiTullio, G. Helas, G. B. Jones, M. D. Keller, R. P. Kiene, C. Leck, M. Levasseur, G. Malin, M. Maspero, P. Matrai, A. R.McTaggart, N. Mihalopoulos, B.C. Nguyen, A. Novo, J. P. Putaud, S. Rapsomanikis, G. Roberts, G. Schebeske, S. Sharma, R. Simo, R. Staubes, S. Turner, G. Uher "A global database of sea surface dimethylsulfide (DMS) measurements and a procedure to predict sea surface DMS as a function of latitude, longitude, and month" Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 13, 399-444
  • Laroche, D., A.F. Vézina, M. Levasseur, M. Gosselin, J. Stefels, MD. Keller, PA Matrai, and RLJ Kwint. “Dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) and dimethylsulfide (DMS) exudation in phytoplankton: a Modeling Approach”, Mar. Ecol. Progr. Ser., 180:37-49.


  • Vernet, M., P. A. Matrai and I. Andreassen. “Synthesis of particulate and extracellular carbon by phytoplankton in the Barents Sea”. J. Geophysical Res., 103:1023-1037.
  • Sæmundsdóttir, S. and P.A. Matrai. “Methyl bromide production by phytoplankton cultures”, Limnol. Oceanogr., 43:81-87.


  • Patricia Matrai, Maria Vernet "Dynamics of the vernal bloom in the marginal ice zone of the Barents Sea: Dimethyl sulfide and dimethylsulfoniopropionate budgets" Journal of Geophysical Research, 102, 965-979
  • Matrai P. A. and M. Vernet. “Dynamics of the vernal bloom in the marginal ice-zone of the Barents Sea: DMS and DMS li budgets”. J. Geophysical Res., 102:22965-2297.


  • P.A. Matrai, D.J. Cooper, E.S. Saltzman "Frontal enhancement of dimethylsulfide concentrations across a Gulf Stream meander" Journal of Marine Systems, 7, 1-8
  • Matrai, P. A., D. J. Cooper, D. Olson and E. S. Saltzman. "Oceanic DMS emissions associated with frontal condition across aGulf Stream meander." J. of Marine Systems, 7:1-8.


  • Matrai, P. A. and M. D. Keller. "Total organic sulfur and dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) in marine phytoplankton: Intracellular variations." Marine Biology, 119:61-68.
  • Bates, T., R. P. Kiene, G. Wolfe, P. A. Matrai, F. Chavez, K. R. Buck, B. Blomquist, R. Cuhel. "The Cycling of sulfur in surface seawater of the NE Pacific." JGR-Oceans, 99:7835-7843.


  • Matrai, P. A. and M. D. Keller. "Dimethylsulfide in a large-scale coccolithophore bloom in the Gulf of Maine." Continental Shelf Research, 13:831-843.
  • Saltzman, E. S., S. A. Yvon, and P. A. Matrai. "Low-level Atmospheric sulfur dioxide measurement using HPLC/Fluorescence detection." J. Atm. Chemistry, 17:73-90.
  • Matrai, P. A., W. M. Balch, D. J. Cooper and E. S. Saltzman. "Ocean Color and Atmospheric DMS: On Their Mesoscale Variability." JGR-Atmospheres, 98:23469-23476.


  • Cooper, W. J. and P. A. Matrai. "Distribution of dimethyl sulfide in the oceans: A review." In: E. Saltzman and W. J. Cooper [Eds.], Biogenic Sulfur in the Environment, American Chemical Society, pp. 140-151


  • Matrai, P. A. and R. W. Eppley. "Particulate organic sulfur in the waters of the Southern California Bight." Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 3:89-103.
  • Vetter, R. D., P. A. Matrai, B. Javor and J. O'Brien. "Reduced sulfur compounds in the marine environment: Analysis by High-performance liquid chromatography." In: E. Saltzman and W. Cooper [Eds.], Biogenic Sulfur in the Environment, American Chemical Society, pp. 243-261.


  • Matrai, P. A. and R. D. Vetter. "Particulate thiols in coastal marine waters: The effect of light and nutrient on planktonic production." Limnol. Oceanogr., 33:624-631.
  • Napp, J. M., E. R. Brooks, F. M. H. Reid, P. A. Matrai and M. M. Mullin. "Vertical distribution of marine particles and grazers. I. Vertical distribution of food quality and quantity." Marine Ecol. Progr. Ser., 50:45-58.
  • Napp, J. M., E. R. Brooks, F. M. H. Reid, P. A. Matrai and M. M. Mullin. "Vertical distribution of marine particles and grazers. II. Relation of grazer distribution to food quality and quantity." Mar. Ecol. Progr. Ser., 50:59-72.

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