|Overview of the Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry
Scientists in the Marine
Chemistry and Geochemistry Department had another busy year in 2005. Staff members
could be found throughout the world's oceans on research cruises, back in the
lab analyzing samples and working on new chemical techniques, and using models
to understand everything from small-scale geochemical reactions to large-scale
global processes. In 2005 four scientists joined the department, adding new and
Coolen arrived from the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (Royal
NIOZ). With his background in organic geochemistry and microbial biology (from
the University of Oldenburg in Germany and the Royal NIOZ) he is one of the few
investigators in the world who can look back in time at layers of marine and lake
sediments and analyze ancient DNA sequences to learn, at the species level, which
microorganisms had been living in the overlying waters at that time. Marco is
a pioneer in this challenging new field of paleomicrobiology.
Rouxel was hired after being one of our WHOI postdoctoral scholars who was
sponsored by the Deep Ocean Exploration Institute, having obtained his Ph.D. degree
at Institut National Polytechnique de Lorraine in France and worked at the University
of Cambridge in England. His area of specialty is the application of metal stable
isotopes, which are natural chemical signatures that change slightly depending
upon the extent of chemical and biological processing. Using special WHOI mass
spectrometry facilities managed by Lary Ball, Olivier has applied his skills in
isotope geochemistry to look at hydrothermal systems, marine sediments, weathering
of rocks, and the biology and chemistry of the ancient oceans.
(DeDe) Toole was also a WHOI postdoctoral scholar sponsored by the Ocean and
Climate Change Institute. She came from the University of California, Santa Barbara,
where she studied satellite oceanography, modeling, ocean optics, and analytical
techniques to measure climate-relevant gases, in particular one called dimethylsulfide
(DMS). These combined skills allow her to study the production by marine plankton
of DMS, which may influence both the hydrologic cycle and the global heat budget
through its role in cloud formation, and may alter rainfall patterns and temperatures.
comes to us from a postdoctoral position at California Institute of Technology,
following her Ph.D. degree from the University of Oxford. Her studies focus on
past records of climate change, recorded in the skeletons of deep-sea corals.
Her innovative studies allow us to look at deep ocean circulation in the past
by measuring chemical signatures in corals bands, in particular carbon isotopic
records from corals that are retrieved via deep ocean dredging or directly from
research submersibles such as Alvin.
These scientists join a diverse MC&G
scientific staff that study not just the fundamental chemical properties of the
ocean, but who use chemical signatures as tracers to learn more about marine biology,
geology, and physics, and more broadly, how the ocean and earth work today as
well as in the past. These new scientists are a diverse group, from different
fields and different countries, trained in some of the top labs in the world.
We wish them well as they embark on fruitful WHOI careers.
Ken O. Buesseler
Chair, Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry
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