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Timothy I. Eglinton

Born and raised in the United Kingdom, Tim Eglinton actually was familiar with Woods Hole Oceanogrpahic Institution long before his arrival. His father, Geoff, a preeminent organic chemist from Bristol University in England, had long told of this wonderful institution on the other side of the pond that provided a fertile research environment in an idyllic location. Eglinton’s own graduate and postgraduate education centered on organic matter deeply buried in sedimentary rocks. He became interested in the biological precursors to this organic matter and processes leading to its burial in ocean sediments. Working on the premise that “the present is the key to the past," Eglinton came to WHOI in 1990 seeking to examine carbon cycling in contemporary oceans. Although happily married with three children, Tim is still very active in the dating game—that is, radiocarbon dating of organic molecules. He and his colleagues carefully isolate and determine ages of minute amounts of individual organic compounds from ocean sediments and particles. These hard-won dates can tell us much about how organic compounds form and move around the carbon cycle in the oceans.

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