An exploration of the synergy between microbiology and chemistry in diverse marine environments

Brian T. Glazer, Department of Oceanography, University of Hawaii
Event Location: 
Event Date: 
Friday, February 13, 2015 - 11:00am
Event Type: 
SCMSS Seminar Series

Presenter: Brian T. Glazer
Department of Oceanography, University of Hawaii

Microbes can use a wide range of electron acceptors other than oxygen for respiration, and are thereby integral to all the major elemental cycles, particularly those relevant to life on Earth. Making micro- and macro- biological comparisons within and among dynamic geochemical environments is ideally suited to areas where steep gradients and sharp interfaces exist because spatial and temporal fluctuations can be independently identified. Zones of oxic-suboxic-anoxic transitions are particularly interesting because they are ubiquitous in aquatic environments (on varying scales), allow for targeted sampling of specific redox processes, and can impact socioeconomic considerations.

To improve our understanding of the biogeochemical processes regulating the distribution and flux of elements between the seafloor, water column, and the atmosphere, it is necessary to monitor the geochemical and biological composition of marine environments continuously with high spatial and/or temporal resolution. Recent technological advances in instrument electronics, in situ sensors, and telemetry have boosted the development of ocean observing systems, and enabled new study techniques that were previously impossible, thus better informing our understanding of complex physical, biological, and chemical interactions in marine systems.

This presentation will briefly review recent advances made in deployable sensor and analyzer technology, specifically highlighting data sets from diverse habitats in the coastal zone that represent active sites of intense redox cycling: (i) the dynamic upper layers of advection-controlled nearshore permeable sediments, and (ii) diffusion dominated fine-grained sediments associated with organic matter rich mangrove stands.