Chen Shen successfully defends doctoral dissertation

Chen Shen, center, with committee members

Chen Shen, a student in Brian Hopkinson’s lab, successfully defended her thesis “Carbon Dioxide Concentrating Mechanisms in Marine Diatoms: Genetics, Physiology, and Diversity” on April 20, 2016.  Chen’s work shed light on the molecular mechanisms that are used by marine diatoms, an important group of algae in the ocean, to acquire carbon for photosynthesis. These systems are known as carbon dioxide concentrating mechanisms and they are currently of interest for the way in which they modify the response of marine algae to rising CO2 concentrations.

Scientists discover new reef system at mouth of Amazon River

The University of Georgia’s Patricia Yager, left, and Debbie Steinberg of the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences hold up a sample of water collected at the mouth of the Amazon River

Athens, Ga. – A new reef system has been found at the mouth of the Amazon River, the largest river by discharge of water in the world. As large rivers empty into the world’s oceans in areas known as plumes, they typically create gaps in the reef distribution along the tropical shelves—something that makes finding a reef in the Amazon plume an unexpected discovery.

An international team—including scientists from the University of Georgia and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro—documented their findings in an April 22 study published in the journal Science Advances.

Drifting Dawgs

MarSci students at the RV Savannah

UGA Marine Sciences students Carolina da Silva, Courtney Thomas, Chandler Countryman and Ruth Pannill are now on a research cruise off the Georgia coast investigating carbon export off the Altamaha River. Carolina has built 15 surface drifters that are being deployed to track the motion of riverine water over the shelf. The project is led by Patricia Medeiros and Renato Castelao.

Lydia (Meg) Babcock-Adams successfully defends her thesis

Meg and Patricia

Lydia (Meg) Babcock-Adams, a student in the Medeiros lab, successfully defended her thesis “ELUCIDATING NATURAL AND ANTHROPOGENIC MARINE PROCESSES USING MOLECULAR BIOMARKERS” on April 15, 2016. Her thesis explores the use of both nonpolar and polar biomarker analysis of environmental samples to track inputs, transport, and transformations of organic carbon in the marine environment. Meg investigated levels and distribution patterns of oil-derived compounds in Gulf of Mexico sediments following the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon oil spill that occurred in April 2010.

Ms. Qian Liu suscessfully defends dissertation

James Hollibaugh and Qian Liu

Ms Qian Liu, a student in the Hollibaugh lab, successfully defended her dissertation “Biogeochemical cycling of polyamines in a coastal marine environment” on April 6, 2016.  Ms Liu began her studies in the Marine Sciences program at UGA in 2010 after receiving her MSc degree from from Central Michigan University.  Ms Liu is a native of Qingdao, China and received her BSc degree from Shandong University of Technology in 2005.


Chemistry of the Calcifying Fluid of Corals

microelectrode entering coral

Brian Hopkinson and collaborators from other institutions have recently published a paper reporting new measurements on the chemistry of the calcifying fluid in corals. Corals deposit their mineral skeletons from a thin layer of fluid known as the calcifying fluid. The chemistry of this fluid in part determines how fast the skeleton is made and so how fast corals grow. In the new paper published in Nature Communications, they used microelectrodes to access the calcifying fluid and measure pH and the concentration of carbonate, one of the ions that makes up the skeleton.


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