Sargasso Sea
Sargasso Sea

Carlson Microbial Oceanography Lab

Microbes play an essential role in governing the large geochemical cycles on our planet like the carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous cycles. Marine microbes comprise greater than 95% of all the living biomass in the sea. As Microbial Oceanographers my groups’ research interests are shaped by an interdisciplinary blend of marine microbial ecology, microbiology and ocean biogeochemistry. Specifically our research has focused on the role that marine microbes play in the cycling of elements through oceanic dissolved organic matter (DOM) and the biogeochemical significance of DOM in the marine carbon cycle. We employ a variety of oceanographic, microbiological and molecular approaches to quantify and characterize both DOM composition as well as the microbial lineages that grow on these substrates. The ultimate goal of our research is to gain a better understanding of the role of DOM in ocean biogeochemistry and how microbial community structure responds to and controls DOM quantity and quality in the World’s oceans.