My research interests have focused on three general areas including regulation of photosynthesis, membrane inlet mass spectrometry (MIMS), and denitrification. My work on photosynthesis focuses on how phytoplankton balance energy flow through the photosynthetic apparatus. This involves studies of photosynthetic energy (electron flow) to oxygen and photoacclimation of photosynthetic pigmentation, both of which influence the photosynthetic efficiency of phytoplankton cells for growth. Using a 'home-made' MIMS, our oxygen cycling work involved Oxygen-18 methods that measured simultaneous uptake and evolution of oxygen by phytosynthesis providing information on dissipation of energy by oxygen reduction. Mine was the first lab to take MIMS to sea to study native phytoplankton oxygen cycling. In photoacclimation research, I was involved in the development of a unifying model and understanding of photoacclimation to multiple environmental factors (e.g. light, nutrient availability, and temperature).
My work with MIMS led to the development of a novel configuration that provided rapid, high precision measurements of dissolved gases, esp. nitrogen, oxygen and argon. This led to a new method for measuring dentrification in aquatic sediments. The so-called "N2/Ar" technique that evolved from my research has become a standard method in aquatic science over the last 20 years.
I continue to work on MIMS applications and I currently am on leave from HPL while overseeing Bay Instruments, a company that supplies MIMS to the environmental research community. I remain active at HPL though collaborations with other faculty and through advising students. I am not accepting students at this time.
Areas of Expertise
- Phytoplankton photosynthesis, membrane inlet mass spectrometry, denitrification.
- Ph.D. Harvard University 1982
- M.S. Syracuse University 1976
- B.S. Union College 1974