Marine Sciences faculty member Mary Ann Moran has been awarded a $1.2 million grant from the NSF Dimensions of Biodiversity program, along with co-PIs William Whitman in the Department of Microbiology, Ron Kiene at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, and Jim Birch and Chris Scholin at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. This project will explore the regulation of organic sulfur metabolism in marine bacteria and its effects on the emission of climate-relevant sulfur gas to the atmosphere.
Congratulations to Dr. Merryl Alber who is the new director of the
University of Georgia Marine Institute on Sapelo Island GA. She
succeeds Dr. Bill Miller who served as director for 9 years. See UGA
Today for more details.
Dr. Daniela Di Iorio has received a $900K grant from the NSF to develop
a new reciprocal acoustic scintillation instrument in collaboration with
industry (ASL Environmental Sciences), for the NEPTUNE Canada cabled
observatory. The hydrothermal vertical velocity together with the
horizontal currents will allow us to measure the plume's interaction
with oscillatory currents, which causes enhanced entrainment of ambient
fluid into the plume, which ultimately affects the rise height of the
plume. Entrainment of ambient fluids into a buoyant hydrothermal plume
is an important mechanism for the transport of biological material
vertically upward and then horizontally outward in hydrothermal vent
regions. In addition, we will monitor the temperature, which together
with the vertical velocity gives an integrated heat flux output for the
sulfide mound. (photo from Ocean Networks Canada)
Dr. Tim Hollibaugh has been awarded a NSF grant of $728K over 36 months to study the development and geochemical consequences of a bloom of ammonia oxidizing Archaea detected in the Duplin River, Sapelo Island, Georgia for the past 5 years during the summer. The bloom appears to have significant effect on the dynamics of nitrogen cycling in Georgia coastal waters, increasing retention time and fostering accumulation of inorganic nitrogen. Nitrogen availability is thought to be an important factor contributing to the eutrophication of coastal waters and the development of harmful algal blooms and related phenomena.
||Dr. Miller and Dr. Medeiros along with graduate and undergraduate
students from UGA are currently in the North Pacific on board the RV
Melville to study dissolved ocean refractory carbon (DORC). A
quantitative description of the role of dissolved organic carbon (DOC)
in the global carbon cycle requires comprehensive data on the oceanic
distribution, sources, and sinks of DOC in the deep sea. They will be
measuring the photochemical reactivity of abyssal, mesopelagic, and
surface ocean waters in the North Pacific, where the abyssal DOC
concentrations are the lowest in the ocean, presumably reflecting the
presence of the most aged and refractory reduced carbon pool in the
sea. Follow their progress at dorc.uga.edu and submit questions to
||A natural gas leak from an uncontrolled natural gas well in the Gulf of
Mexico on July 22 represented a unique opportunity to document impacts
of contaminants in a shallow water environment. Dr. Joye and graduate
student Joy Battles in collaboration with scientists from GATech and
Florida participated in a rapid response to deploy ocean drifters to
track movement of surface waters around the rig and to collect
time-sensitive samples of water, air, and sediment (see UGA press
release and GOMRI site for more information). The data obtained will
provide information on the concentrations of hydrocarbons, including
methane, and on water column microbial activity in shallow waters.
Dr. Christof Meile is attending the Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013 workshop on Mathematical Paradigms of Climate Science at the Instituto
Nazionale di Alta Matematica (INDAM), Rome, Italy. He is giving a
tutorial on Math and Climate, titled "Marine microbial processes and
their climate feedback".
||Congratulations to Dr. Tim Hollibaugh, who was elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. Fellows are elected in recognition for their record of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology. Tim was recognized as a Fellow in May 2013 in a ceremony at the annual meeting of the American Society of Microbiology.
NASA has awarded Dr. Renato Castelao and collaborator Ruoying He of
North Carolina State Univeristy $775K to use underwater robots called
gliders and satellite imagery to investigate the role of Gulf Stream
eddies on the exchange of water between the coastal ocean off Georgia
and the deep ocean. The water exchange is thought to provide an
important food source for a succession of organisms, helping sustain
biological production off the Georgia coast. The field efforts will
occur during summer 2014 and 2015. Dr. Castelao is featured on UGA Today which gives more information on this research project.
Dr. Aron Stubbins (Skidaway Institute of Oceanography and Dept.of
Marine Sciences faculty) is a co-author of “Global Charcoal Mobilization from Soils via Dissolution and Riverine Transport to the Oceans,” published in the journal Science on April 19, 2013. The study concludes that black carbon, formed from the burning of biomass and fossil fuels, may account for as much as 10% of the carbon transported by rivers into the ocean, and may influence local and global climate. Details can be found at: www.skio.usg.edu/?p=research/chem/biogeochem/blkcarbon
Women in (Marine) Science
Marine Sciences faculty members Patricia Yager and Samantha Joye participated in a UGA forum on women in science, organized as a Women's History Month activity. They discussed the positive impacts of female role models as well as challenges for personal lives. Athens Banner-Herald Article link: http://onlineathens.com/uga/2013-03-20/women-scientists-discuss-careers-uga-panel
Graduate student Linquan Mu won a best poster award at the Gordon Research Conference on Polar Marine Sciences (Ventura, California; March 10-15) for his poster titled ""Spatial Variability of sea surface pCO2 in the Amundsen Polynya". Congratulations Lin!
Congratulations to Dr. Patricia Yager who is featured as UGA's Focus on
Faculty. Her research has taken her to the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans
and to the Amazon River plume in the tropical Atlantic Ocean to
understand how climate change will impact these important ecosystems.
She is also the Director of the Georgia Initiative for Climate & Society which brings together a scientific community to study climate
variability and change.
Ph.D. candidate Carrie Givens successfully defended her dissertation entitled " A Fish Tale: Comparison of the Gut Microbiome of 15 Fish Species and the Influence of Diet and Temperature on its Composition" this fall under the direction of Dr. Hollibaugh. Carrie was awarded a John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship and leaves Athens in February to work with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Washington DC.
The Georgia Coastal Ecosystems Long Term Ecological Research project
directed by Dr. Merryl Alber, has been awarded a $5.8 million grant from
the NSF to continue studying the long-term effects of climate change,
sea level rise and human alterations of the landscape on ecosystems
found in the marshes, estuaries, sounds and coastal waters surrounding
Sapelo Island, GA. The project originally started in 2000 and this
second renewal adds another 6 years to extend the long term data on plant
and animal populations, water chemistry, carbon cycling and many other
parameters to 2018. The project consists of more than 30 UGA
researchers along with scientists from 14 academic institutions and
agencies who study environmental change over the long term and
participate in education outreach to train K-12 educators in research
activities that can then be used in the classroom.