Isabel C. Romero
Research: Biogeochemistry, Organic Geochemistry, Isotope Geochemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Geochemical Ecology
Specialties: Lipid Biomarkers, Trophic Ecology, Organic Contamination, Oil Spill Impacts, Deep-Sea Research, Chemical Fingerprinting, Sediment Biogeochemistry
Dr. Romero’s research focuses on uncovering geochemical signatures in the ocean as archives of how marine systems function and respond to natural and anthropogenic events. She uses organic chemistry and isotopic tracers in diverse samples from natural environments, and experiments such as sediments, water, vegetation, and biota (e.g., sponges, squid, jellyfishes, shrimp, mesopelagic and reef fishes) to study the source, transformation processes, and fate of molecules in marine systems. Her work covers from coastal (e.g., mangroves, saltmarshes) to deep-sea environments (e.g., mesopelagic, benthic) on a wide range of temporal and spatial scales contributing to chemical diversity, ecosystem function, and resilience.
Recent research projects have examined the sources, distributions, and fate of natural and oil-spill derived hydrocarbons in deep sediments, developed long-term assessments of toxic molecules in mesopelagic fauna, and formulated new biological and chemical indicators of environmental impact in coastal and deep-sea habitats. Current projects include funding from the National Academies of Science and Engineering, and from the NOAA Restore Science Program to address the source and bioavailability of persistent organic pollutants in deep-pelagic communities of the northern Gulf of Mexico, that potentially can influence community structure and abundance over long temporal trends. The results will provide key information for resource managers to protect the natural resources of the Gulf.
For a list of recent publications and news, please visit her website.