Air Sea Interactions Laboratory

Our research has the overarching theme of understanding the processes that control the flux of key compounds between the ocean and atmosphere. This is because these compounds play an important role in atmospheric chemistry and therefore, our climate. Microbial processes in the plankton play a major role in regulating the flux of many gases in and out of the ocean, including sulfur, iodine, bromine and nitrogen-based compounds. As a result, much of our work involves delving into these biological processes that range in scale from the cellular level to trying to understand the response of ecosystems to climate change. By tracking the sources of these gases we learn about how key compounds are synthesized, recycled and lost from the surface ocean. We are particularly interested in how the changing ocean environment is going to influence the exchange of gases with the atmosphere and what that may mean for our climate in the future.

I also direct Bigelow Analytical Services, a core facility in the laboratory that carries out a variety of analyses for researchers, industry and government agencies. We have a suite of high-caliber analytical instruments and the capability of analyzing: marine biotoxins, particularly phycotoxins; lipids, including fatty acid profiles; elemental concentration, e.g. C & N; and stable isotopes for tracer experiments or studies of natural abundances.

I currently teach a course on ‘Biogeochemistry in a Changing Ocean’ as part of the Colby College Fall Semester Program; and regularly mentor undergraduate interns and participants in Bigelow Laboratory’s NSF REU Program.