Research: Trace Metal Biogeochemistry; Metal-Binding Organic Ligands.
Research in the Buck lab is focused on the biogeochemical cycling of trace metals in marine ecosystems, with particular emphasis on the role of metal-binding ligands in the cycling of bioactive trace elements like iron and copper. Iron (Fe) is an essential micronutrient for phytoplankton that limits primary productivity in large regions of the global open ocean. Copper (Cu), on the other hand, is a common anthropogenic contaminant to estuarine and coastal oceans that can act as a toxicant to microorganisms at elevated concentrations. The organic complexation of dissolved iron and copper by largely uncharacterized natural ligands in seawater has proven to be an integral component in the oceanic biogeochemistry of these metals, governing aspects of their solubility, supply and bioavailability in the marine environment.
Recent research projects in the Buck lab have examined the distributions, sources and sinks of natural iron- and copper-binding organic ligands in seawater, biological transformations of iron and copper species, and the influence of copper-binding ligands on bioavailability and toxicity of copper in contaminated coastal and estuarine environments. The Buck lab has current funding from the National Science Foundation to measure iron-binding ligand distributions on the U.S. GEOTRACES cruises in the North Atlantic and in the Eastern Pacific, and to evaluate the influence of iron-binding ligands on iron cycling processes in experimental studies. Dr. Buck is also currently a co-chair of the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) Working Group 130: Organic Ligands- A Key Control on Trace Metal Biogeochemistry in the Ocean.
Robert H. Byrne
Distinguished University Professor
Seawater Physical Chemistry
Ph.D. University of Rhode Island, 1974
Office Phone: 727.553.1508
CV: View PDF
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Dr. Robert H. Byrne on Google Scholar
Research: Marine CO2 System Chemistry and Ocean Acidification; Seawater Trace Element Chemistry; and Development Of In Situ Methods and Instrumentation for Analysis of Seawater.
My current research involves three principal areas of investigation: (1) the speciation and behavior of trace metals in seawater, (2) investigation of marine and riverine CO2 system chemistry and (3) development of in-situ procedures for observation of the marine environment. My work on trace metals gives special emphasis to investigations of the comparative chemistries of a variety of elements including platinum and palladium, and yttrium plus the rare earths. Other enduring interests and current research includes investigation of the aqueous behavior of iron, and the influence of acantharia on the biogeochemistry of strontium and barium. Work on CO2 system chemistry includes the development and oceanic application of novel systems for shipboard and in-situ measurements of pH, total inorganic carbon, alkalinity, and CO2 fugacity. Development of systems for in-situ measurements of metals, nutrients and CO2 system variables involves close work with a variety of colleagues at the Center for Ocean Technology (within the College of Marine Science). Previous cooperative work involving COT engineers and CMS scientists has resulted in successful mass spectrometer deployments/ observations in the upper ocean, and deployments of long pathlength spectrometers for observation of oceanic nutrient distributions to depths of 200 meters.
In 2012, Dr. Byrne was elected as a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union for his contributions to the understanding of ocean acidification. He was also awarded the USF Innovation Award for his contributions to development of new sensors to measure ocean chemistry.
Research: Marine Trace Metals, Transition Metal Isotopes, Biogeochemistry, Marine Geochemistry, GEOTRACES.
Specialties: Trace Metals, Marine Biogeochemistry, Atmospheric Dust, Geochemistry, Chemical Oceanography
Research in Tim Conway’s group aims to understand the geochemistry of trace metals in the marine and earth system, and the role they play as micronutrients and/or toxins in marine biogeochemical cycles, with effects on the global carbon cycle. Researchers working and collaborating with Dr. Conway employs techniques including measurement of trace metal (Fe, Zn, Ni, Cd, Cu) isotope ratios and trace metal concentrations (Fe, Zn, Ni, Cd, Cu, Mn, Pb) in a range of materials including aerosol dust, rocks, sediments rain, seawater, ice-cores, marine particles and biological materials. Our group uses a Thermo Neptune Plus MC-ICPMS and an Element XR HR-ICPMS in the Tampa Bay Plasma Facility housed at CMS to shed new light on the biogeochemical cycling of trace metals in the modern ocean. We are also interested in developing and applying isotopic tracers as proxies for oceanic processes in the geological past.
Our group works closely with national and international collaborators as part of the International GEOTRACES program, working on seawater and other samples collected from all over the world. Currently, we have NSF-funded projects on trace metals and their isotopes in the North and South Pacific (US GEOTRACES sections GP15, GP17-OCE, GP17-ANT), nutrient cycling on the West Florida Shelf, and the dissolution of Fe from Atmospheric Dust. We also have ongoing research collaborations in the Arctic, South Atlantic, and Antarctic marginal seas.
We are always eager for collaboration in a range of marine and geologic fields, and are always looking for keen and motivated graduate students and postdocs. Please contact us for current opportunities.
Dr Conway is also an Associate Editor for Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, and sits on the International GEOTRACES Standards and Intercalibration Committee.
For up-to-date laboratory activities and a list of recent publications and news, please visit the Marine Metal Isotope and Trace Element lab web page.