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
View Abstract Publications
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.
Assistant Professor, College of Marine Science & School of Geosciences (Joint Faculty)
Ph.D. University of Cambridge 2010
Office Phone: 727.553.3408
CV: View PDF
Research: marine trace elements, trace metal isotopes, biogeochemistry, marine geochemistry, GEOTRACES
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 with Dr. Conway employ isotopic techniques including measurement of trace metal (Fe, Zn, Ni, Cd, Cu) isotope ratios by multi-collector HR-ICPMS in a range of materials including aerosol dust, rocks, sediments rain, seawater, ice-cores, marine particles and biological materials. We work 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.
New acquisition of a Thermo Neptune Plus MC-ICPMS and Element XR high resolution ICPMS at CMS in 2017, together with an ESI-Seafast flow through system for precise measurement of trace metal concentrations in seawater, provides the group with the ideal resources to utilize and develop these isotopic tracers in order to shed new light on the biogeochemical cycling of these metals in the modern ocean. We are also interested in applying these tracers as proxies for oceanic processes in the geological past.
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.
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.
Ph.D. Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), ZÜrich, 1989
Office Phone: 727.553.1019
CV: View PDF
Dr. David Hollander on Google Scholar
Research: Archeometry; Chemical Sedimentology; Isotopic Biogeochemistry and Organic Geochemistry; Origin of Organic-Rich Deposits; and Paleoenvironmental Reconstructions
Dr. Hollander’s research focuses on evaluating the influence that anthropogenic and natural climate and environmental change have on the biogeochemical cycling of carbon, nitrogen, and other biolimiting elements in both modern and ancient lacustrine and marine settings.
This research couples state-of-the-art analytical techniques in stable isotope and organic geochemistry to provide a detailed characterization of organic matter. The goals of his research are to understand how biological, chemical and physical processes in modern environments control the production, composition, alteration, decomposition and preservation of organic matter. The results of these studies in modern settings are applied to the analysis of ancient organic-rich sediments in order to reconstruct the environmental and climatic factors controlling the accumulation of organic matter throughout the geologic record.
Nancy L. Williams
Office Phone: 727.553.1168
CV: View PDF
Nancy Williams’ Website
Dr. Nancy Williams on Google Scholar
Southern Ocean Science Website
Research: Ocean Carbon Cycle, Marine Carbonate Chemistry, Ocean Acidification
Dr. Williams studies the ocean’s role in the modern global carbon cycle with the ultimate goal of improving future projections of ocean carbon uptake. To accomplish this she makes ocean observations using a variety of tools ranging from discrete and underway water sampling methods to autonomous platforms equipped with biogeochemical sensors. Dr. Williams also analyzes publicly-available output from fully-coupled Earth System Models to understand how these new ocean observations can inform model development.
Dr. Williams’ past work has focused specifically on the Southern Ocean around Antarctica as part of the SOCCOM project but the tools she uses can be employed to study any ocean region. She is also interested in ocean acidification, or how increasing ocean carbon dioxide content is changing ocean chemistry and affecting marine organisms, and data she collects can inform biological ocean acidification studies. Having arrived at the USF College of Marine Science in October 2019, Dr. Williams is currently building both her lab and her group and is always interested in speaking with potential collaborators or graduate students who are interested in working on related research questions. For a list of publications and recent news stories about Dr. Williams’ research, please visit her website.