Welcome to the
Paytan Biogeochemistry Lab

photos of sunsets

The Paytan Lab at UCSC

cycle diagram

The Paytan Biogeochemistry Lab is a part of the Institute of Marine Science and the Departments of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Ocean Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Our group's primary research interests lie in the fields of biogeochemistry, chemical oceanography, and paleoceanography. We use both chemical and isotopic tracers in diverse environmental samples such as water, sediments, aerosol, and vegetation in order to study present and past biogeochemical processes on a wide range of temporal and spatial scales. An over-arching goal of our research is to link changes observed in the earth and ocean systems to global changes in climate and tectonics with an emphasis on human impacts.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact us!

Paytan Lab News

10/7/15 -- Adina was hosted on Planet Watch to talk climate change and climate education. Please see the video here

10/7/15 -- Adina participated in a panel discussion "How perceptions of time influence environmental action". Please see the video here

9/25/15 -- Adina Receives 2015 Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology Dansgaard Award! here

12/1/14 -- Adina talks about ocean acidification and coral reefs here

6/6/14 -- Adina will be honored as a Geochemical Fellow at the 2014 Goldschmidt Conference in Sacramento here

4/14/14 -- New results from our paleoceanography study on the news here

1/31/14 -- Adina's Public Lecture on Ocean Acidification. Watch her presentation here

December 13 -- Adina has presented the Rachel Carson Lecture in the Ocean Sciences Section at AGU this year. Watch her presentation here

6/17/12 -- New results from our coral reef ocean acidification study on the news here

3/28/13 Awards and Honors
-- Marine scientist Adina Paytan receives prestigious international award here

4/12/12 -- Our lab's work on coral reefs is highlighted in an article written by Adina Payatan published in the Talking Points section of the online edition of Environmental Research Letters. The article, "Coral reefs - are they tough enough?" discusses current research in coral environmental biology as well as our own lab's studies of corals growing near acidic springs. The article includes photos of the coral research done by Adina and Elizabeth Derse Crook off of the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Read the full article here.

12/9/11 -- LiveScience reporter Wynne Parry writes an article on Adina's coral reef research that was just presented at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Fransisco. The article, "Surprise! Corals Discovered in Acidic Submarine Springs", includes amazing photos of the corals found in these underwater springs (off of the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico) and of the SCUBA diving research performed by Elizabeth Derse Crook. Read more here.

11/28/11 -- UCSC's News and Events page highlights our lab's work on coral reefs along the coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Adina and Elizabeth Derse Crook, a graduate student in our lab, have been studying the submarine springs at Puerto Morelos near the Mesoamerican reef for the past 3 years. The submarine springs discharge water with a lower pH than the surrounding seawater. They found the number of coral species and size of coral colonies declined with increasing proximity to the center of these springs. The findings are reported in a paper published in the journal Coral Reefs (click here for the paper). Read the UCSC press release here.

Adina in Tahiti

Adina measuring sea water chemistry in Tahiti.

Featured Project

International Research Experience for Students in Coastal Zone Research

Gulf of Aqaba

The Sinai Peninsula separating the Gulf of Suez to the west and the Gulf of Aqaba, to the east. NASA

International Research Experience for Students in Coastal Zone Research (IRES) is a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded program, with the goal to develop globally-engaged U.S. science and engineering students capable of performing in an international research environment at the forefront of science and engineering. (click here for more info on NSF’s website).

This specific IRES program (International Research Experience for Students in Coastal Zone Research) program fosters first hand, bottom-up, student driven experience as a way to expose and encourage students at the University of Santa Cruz under the direction of Dr. AdinaPaytan as a way to expose and encourage students to incorporate international, collaborative, and problem based research in their future careers. While the general research theme (coastal zone sustainability) has been selected, the specific research projects each participant will carryout will be motivated by their own interests and skills (related to their thesis work). The experience gained will more accurately reflect the whole process of conducting international research, preparing the students for future international collaborations, and providing relevant professional development.

Each student selected for this program, came up with a research project idea based in the Gulf of Eilat and related to coastal zone research, reached out to a found Israel-based collaborators to assist with their research project, and wrote a project proposal with their collaborators which was approved. Students will spend two months in the summer conducting their proposed research project at the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Science in Eilat, or IUI for short (http://www.iui-eilat.ac.il). Read about each of the students participating (and their research projects and collaborators) on the Participating Students page, and look for their posts on the home page of this blog as they prepare for their trip to Israel, conduct their research and acclimate to life in Israel, and finish their research projects after their return to the US.

Biogeochemical research is the study of chemical and biological processes, often which are intrinsically coupled, operating within earth systems. Biogeochemical interactions occur on a wide-range of spatial and temporal scales, ranging from atomic and microbial to global and from the distant past to the present, and operate within environments ranging from terrestrial to marine to atmospheric.

Chemical Oceanography is the study of everything about the chemistry of the ocean based on the distribution and dynamics of elements, isotopes, atoms and molecules. This ranges from fundamental physical, thermodynamic and kinetic chemistry to interactions of ocean chemistry with biological, geological and physical processes.

Paleoceanographyis the study of the history of the oceans in the geologic past with regard to circulation, chemistry, biology, geology and patterns of sedimentation. Paleoceanography data are derived from many proxies found in deep sea sediments including trace metal and isotopic composition of fossil plankton, species composition, and lithology.

Page last updated on April 20, 2017