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Patricia L. Yager

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Patricia Yager (Ph.D., University of Washington, 1996) is a Professor of Marine Science at the University of Georgia. Her interdisciplinary research combines oceanography, marine ecology, and biogeochemistry, and concentrates on the interactions between climate and marine ecosystems. Recent projects investigate the effects of melting ice sheets on Arctic and Antarctic coastal productivity, but she has also examined carbon fluxes in the Amazon River plume. She recently served as co-chief scientist onboard the Research Icebreaker Nathaniel B. Palmer to the Amundsen Sea, Antarctica. She currently serves as the Director of the Georgia Climate Project.

  • Ph.D. 1996, University of Washington, School of Oceanography
  • M.S. 1988, University of Washington, School of Oceanography
  • B.S. 1985, Brown University, Dept of Geology
Research Interests:

Research Emphasis:

Yager's interdisciplinary research approach includes oceanography, marine microbial ecology and biogeochemistry. Her work concentrates on the interactions between climate and marine ecosystems, and includes both fieldwork and modeling. Recent projects include investigating the effects of melting ice sheets on Arctic and Antarctic coastal productivity, and carbon sequestration by microbial communities in the Amazon River plume. 

Labs (via personnel):

2021           National Science Foundation. NSFGEO-NERC: Collaborative Research: Accelerating Thwaites Ecosystem Impacts for the Southern Ocean (ARTEMIS). $800K, Yager is lead PI with 5 co-PIs for a total of $2.3M.

2021           Ray C. Anderson Foundation. Georgia Climate Project. $300K, 3 yr. Yager is co-director of the project and Lead PI for UGA.

2020           Private donor. The Climate Rescue Project Fund. $100k. Yager is PI. A perpetual fund to motivate and support research, teaching, and service at the University of Georgia on how to solve the global climate crisis. Supports the Georgia Initiative for Climate and Society.

2018           Ray C. Anderson Foundation. Georgia Climate Project. $100K, 3 yr. Yager is PI for UGA subcontract. Project led by D. Rochberg (Emory University) with 5 co-PIs for a total of $650K;

2017     National Academy Keck Futures Initiative (NAKFI). Mapping Deep Blue Habitats in a Changing Climate. $100K, 2 yr. Yager is lead PI with 2 co-PIs: J. Spivey (UGA) and C. Deutsch (UW).

2015           National Science Foundation – Office of Polar Programs. Collaborative research: investigating the role of mesoscale processes and ice dynamics in carbon and iron fluxes in a changing Amundsen Sea (INSPIRE; ANT-1443604). $50K, 3 yr. Project led by P. St-Laurent (ODU) with 5 co-PIs for total of $300K.

2010           Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation – Marine Microbiology Initiative. The River Ocean Continuum of the Amazon (ROCA; GBMF-2293). $2.4 million, 3 yr. Yager was lead PI for the project with 9 co-PIs on subcontracts.

2009           National Science Foundation – Emerging Topics in Biogeochemistry. Collaborative Research: ETBC: Amazon influence on the Atlantic: carbon export from nitrogen fixation by diatom symbioses (ANACONDAS; OCE-0934095). $478K, 4 yr. Yager was lead PI for the project and sole PI at UGA, with 9 co-PIs for a total of $3.2 million.

2009           National Science Foundation – Office of Polar Programs. Collaborative Research: does competition for nitrogen between autotrophs and heterotrophs control carbon fluxes in the western coastal Arctic (ARC-0910252)? $314K, 3 yr. Yager was lead PI and sole PI at UGA, with 2 co-PIs for a total of $950K.

2009           National Science Foundation – Office of Polar Programs. Collaborative Research onboard Icebreaker Oden: ASPIRE: Amundsen Sea Polynya International Research Expedition (ANT-0839069). $290K, 30 mo. Yager was lead PI and sole PI at UGA, with 4 co-PIs for a total of $1.5 million.

2021     Mu, L., H. R Gomes, S. M. Burns, J. I. Goes, V. J. Coles, C. E. Rezende, F. L. Thompson, R. L. Moura, B. Page, and P. L. Yager (2021). Temporal variability of air–sea CO2 flux in the western tropical North Atlantic influenced by the Amazon River plume. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. GBC21132.

Oliver, H.,P. St-Laurent, R. M. Sherrell, and P. L. Yager (2019). Modeling iron and light controls on the summer Phaeocystis antarctica bloom in the Amundsen Sea Polynya. Global Biogeochem. Cyc.

St-Laurent, P., Yager, P. L., Sherrell, R. M., Oliver, H., Dinniman, M. S., & Stammerjohn, S. E. (2019). Modeling the seasonal cycle of iron and carbon fluxes in the Amundsen Sea Polynya, Antarctica. Journal Geophysical Research: Oceans, 124.

Richert, I., P. L. Yager, J. Dinasquet, R. Logares, L. Riemann, A. Wendeberg, S. Bertilsson, D. G. Scofield (2019). Summer comes to the Southern Ocean: how surface phytoplankton shapes bacterioplankton communities far into the deep dark sea. Ecosphere.

Rudd MA, Moore AFP, Rochberg D, Bianchi-Fossati L, Brown MA, et al. 2018. Climate research priorities for policy-makers, practitioners, and scientists in Georgia, USA. Environmental Management. DOI

Oliver H, Luo H, Castelao R, van Dijken G, Mattingly K, Rosen JJ, Mote TL, Arrigo KR, Rennermalm AK , Tedesco M, Yager PL. 2018.  Exploring the Potential Impact of Greenland Meltwater on Stratification, Photosynthetically Active Radiation, and Primary Production in the Labrador Sea. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans. DOI Google Scholar BibTex XML

St-Laurent P, Yager PL, Sherrell RM, Stammerjohn SE, Dinniman MS. 2017. Pathways and supply of dissolved iron in the Amundsen Sea (Antarctica). Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans. 122(915-16C11353):7135-7162. DOI Google Scholar BibTex XML

Yager PL, Sherrell RM, Stammerjohn SE, Ducklow HW, Schofield OME, et al.  2016.  A carbon budget for the Amundsen Sea Polynya, Antarctica: Estimating net community production and export in a highly productive polar ecosystem. Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene. 4:000140. DOI Google Scholar BibTex XML

Moura RL, Amado-Filho GM, Moraes FC, Brasileiro PS, Salomon PS, et al. 2016.  An extensive reef system at the Amazon River mouth. Science Advances. 2(4):e1501252-e1501252. DOI Google Scholar BibTex XML

Seidel M, Yager PL, Ward ND, Carpenter EJ, Gomes HR, Krusche AV, Richey JE, Dittmar T, Medeiros PM.  2015.  Molecular-level changes of dissolved organic matter along the Amazon River-to-ocean continuum. Marine Chemistry. 177:218-231. DOI Google Scholar BibTex XML

Mu L, Stammerjohn SE, Lowry KE, Yager PL.  2014.  Spatial variability of surface pCO2 and air-sea CO2 flux in the Amundsen Sea Polynya, Antarctica. Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene. 2:000036. DOI Google Scholar BibTex XML

Garay L, Wotkyns AM, Lowry KE, Warburton J, Alderkamp A-C, Yager PL.  2014.  ASPIRE: Teachers and researchers working together to enhance student learning. Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene. 2:000034. DOI Google Scholar BibTex XML

Yager P, Sherrell R, Stammerjohn S, Alderkamp A-C, Schofield O, et al. 2012. ASPIRE: The Amundsen Sea Polynya International Research Expedition. Oceanography. 25(3):40-53.DOI Google Scholar BibTex XML

Yager PL, Wallace DWR, Johnson KM, Smith WO, Minnett PJ, Deming JW. 1995. The Northeast Water Polynya as an atmospheric CO 2 sink: A seasonal rectification hypothesis. Journal of Geophysical Research. 100(C3):4389. DOI Google Scholar BibTex XML


Of note:

Dr. Yager was recently elected to be a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for outstanding work on climate-driven processes and their impact on marine ecosystems. She has also been awarded a Visiting Professorship (Ciência sem Fronteiras) in Brazil, and the Antarctic Service Medal. Her research has been funded by the US National Science Foundation, NASA, DOE, NOAA, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the Keck Foundation.  She has over 76 peer-reviewed publications, and has been cited over 5200 times.  She is the Director of the Georgia Initiative for Climate and Society at the University of Georgia, and a co-Director of the statewide Georgia Climate Project.  

Articles Featuring Patricia L. Yager
Thursday, August 8, 2019 - 10:18am

This past week, the surface of Greenland warmed above the freezing point to the greatest extent…

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - 12:55pm

The Georgia Climate project was formed in order to outline some key issues surrounding climate change and its effects in Georgia.

Friday, September 9, 2016 - 4:37pm

Patricia Yager is featured in this month's University of Georgia Magazine for her discovery of a new coral reef at the mouth of the Amazon. For full text of the article, check out the digital issue…

Friday, April 22, 2016 - 3:51pm

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…

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