Published: Dec. 3, 2014

On Monday December 8th 2014 we will be having a special seminar. The speaker will be Dr. Elizabeth Kujawinski from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. The seminar will be at the DLC, 2-3 pm. 

Environmental Metabolomics: Earth Science from a Different Point of View

Dr. Elizabeth Kujawinski

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

At the heart of environmental chemistry lies the analysis and quantification of chemicals in different settings. Recent advances in ionization techniques have opened the analytical window to polar organic compounds, or those that contain oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur or phosphorus. These compounds comprise a large fraction of soluble organic matter in aquatic environments and some play important roles in the functioning of microbial consortia and ecosystems. With appropriate instrumentation, it is now possible to rapidly detect and identify new compounds or to quantify known compounds of particular interest, within the complex background of soluble organic matter. These techniques, therefore, will be applicable to a wide range of environmental questions, ranging from large-scale concerns such as pollution to the microscale interactions of a microbial consortium. Here, I will explore the application of qualitative and quantitative mass spectrometry to questions in earth and environmental science, such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, dissolved organic matter in the Pacific Ocean and/or the metabolites within a diatom cell. In all these cases, we strive to characterize the broadest array of polar compounds and to quantify those that will provide insights into important processes affecting biogeochemical cycles in aquatic systems.