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Publications in VIVO

Wankel, Scott Assistant Scientist, Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry


My group’s research broadly focuses on understanding how natural-abundance stable isotopes integrate the relative importance of physical, chemical and biological processes that regulate the cycling of biogeochemically important compounds. More specifically, we are aiming to gain more mechanistic understandings of the cycling of bio-available forms of nitrogen and carbon, including specific interactions with cycles of other common elements such as sulfur, iron and manganese. As both a required nutrient for biosynthesis and an environmental manifestation of human activity, understanding the redox transformations that control the form and availability of nitrogen has broad importance for ecosystem productivity, climate change and human health. Accordingly, my group’s research aims to identify the factors, both direct and indirect, that regulate the fate of nitrogen in natural environments, including the production of climatically active trace gases such as nitrous oxide (N2O). We are particularly interested in disentangling the relative importance of biotic and abiotic interactions, as well as the relative contribution of various groups of organisms (fungi vs. bacteria vs. archaea) in driving nitrogen transformations across various environments. We therefore study N cycling across a variety of environments, ranging from coastal to deep-sea ecosystems. We also work to bring new and experimental stable isotope tools to bear on these questions, including the use of novel isotope systems and the development of cutting-edge technologies for field deployment and underwater isotope measurements.

selected publications