Paleoceanography of Deep-sea Corals
Some corals live for hundreds to thousands of years and preserve biogeochemical information in seasonal growth rings. Compound-specific isotope analysis of individual amino acids in the proteinaceous skeletons of corals can be used to reveal shifts in plankton community structure over time. Primary production in surface waters exports nutrients to the deep ocean, in a process termed the biological pump.
For further reading: PNAS Sherwood 2010, Nature Sherwood 2013, Science McMahon 2015
Groundwater Methane in Nova Scotia (GaSP) and Colorado (AirWaterGas)
The Gas Seepage Project (GaSP) is a multi-phase collaborative research initiative aiming to mitigate methane emissions from the fossil fuel sector (oil, gas, coal) in the Canadian Maritimes. The project team includes Eastern Canadian academic and industry partners, and our particular contribution to the project has been to study groundwater methane. Read Kim's blog here.
We also mine the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission database of well water methane to study baseline data, contamination, and remediation, as part of the National Science Foundation Sustainability Research Network AirWaterGas Project.
Mobile Methane in the Denver-Julesburg and San Juan Basins (AirWaterGas)
We are currently working on a research paper in collaboration with NOAA, INSTAAR, and St. Francis Xavier University to isolate, attribute and measure methane emissions from various anthropogenic sources in Colorado's DJ Basin.
Developing Isoscapes of Antarctic Plankton
We are working with researchers at the Universidad de la República Uruguay to analyze compound-specific isotopes in samples of particulate organic matter collected in Antarctic waters. To our knowledge, the project is novel in that it is the first study of amino acid isotopes in southern ocean plankton.