Craig Tobias – Curriculum Vitae


Dept. of Marine Sciences

University of Connecticut

1080 Shennecossett Rd

Groton, CT 06340

(860) 405-9140





Ph.D. Marine Science, College of William and Mary, School of Marine Science, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Gloucester Point, Virginia.  Drs. Iris Anderson and Elizabeth Canuel co-major professors.



B.A.  Biological Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware.  Degree with Distinction, Magna Cum Laude.




2017-Present – Professor: University of Connecticut, Dept. of Marine Sciences.

2009-2017 – Associate Professor: University of Connecticut, Dept. of Marine Sciences. 

2005-2009 – Assistant/Associate Professor: University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Dept. of Geography & Geology. 

2002-2005 – NRC Post Doctoral Fellow: Water Resources Division, US Geological Survey, Reston, VA.  Laboratory of Dr. J.K. Böhlke.   

1999- 2002 – Post Doctoral Researcher: Ecosystems Center, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts.  Laboratory of Dr. Bruce Peterson. 

1993-1999 – Research Assistant:  College of William and Mary, School of Marine Science, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Gloucester Point, Virginia. 

1992-1993 – Environmental Consultant:  Tetra Tech, Inc., Christiana, Delaware.

1990-1992 – Assistant Research Biologist:  Virgin Islands National Park, St. John, U.S.V.I .


PUBLICATIONS (* primary advisee or postdoc; #committee advisee)

Total Publications= 68, Total Citations 4536,  h-index = 30, i10-index = 50 


Granger, J., Boshers, D.S., Böhlke, J.K., Yu, D., Chen, N., and Tobias, C.R. 2019.  The influence of sample matrix on the accuracy of nitrite N and O isotope ratio analyses with the azide method. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry,


White, A.E. Granger, J., Selden, C., Gradoville, M.R., Potts, L., Bourbonnais, A. Fulweiler, R., Knapp, A.N., Mohr, W. Moisander, P.H., Tobias, C.R., Cafine, M., Wilson, S.T., Benavides, M., Bonnet, S. Mulholland, M.R., and Chang, B.X. 2020. A critical review of the 15N2 tracer method to measure diazotrophic production in pelagic ecosystems. Limnol. Oceangr. Methods 18: 129-147.


Van Dam, B.R., Edson, J.B., Tobias, C. 2019. Parameterizing air-water gas exchange in the shallow microtidal New River Estuary. Journal of Geophysical Research Biogeosciences 124.


#Boshers, D., Granger, J., Tobias, C., Smith, R.L., Böhlke, JK. Constraining the oxygen isotopic composition of nitrate produced by nitrification. Environmental Science and Technology. 53, 3, 1206-1216.


*Thivanka Ariyarathna, Mark Ballentine, Penny Vlahos, Richard W. Smith2 Christopher Cooper, John K. Bohlke, Stephen Fallis, Thomas J. Groshens and Craig Tobias.. 2018. Tracing the cycling and fate of the explosive, Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-trazine in a simulated sandy coastal marine habitat with a stable isotopic tracer, 15N-[RDX]. Science and the Total Environment.  647: 369–378.


O’Donnell, J., Vaudrey, J., Tobias, C., French, R., Schenk, P., and Lin, C. 2018. Beneficial use of dredged material for salt marsh restoration and creation in Connecticut.  Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation Report to Connecticut Department of Housing CDBG-DR Sandy Recovery Program. 64 pp plus Appendices.


*Duernberger, K., Tobias, C., and Mallin, M. 2018. Ecosystem scale nitrification and watershed support of tidal creek productivity revealed using whole system isotope tracer labeling.  Limnology and Oceanography.


Van Dam, B., Tobias, C., Holbach, A., Paerl, H., Zhu, G. 2018. CO2 limited conditions favor cyanobacteria in a hypereutrophic lake: An empirical and theoretical stable isotope study. Limnology and Oceanography doi: 10.1002/lno.10798


#Warren, J., Vlahos, P., Smith, R.W., Tobias, C. 2018. Investigation of a New Passive Sampler for the Detection of Munitions Compounds in Marine and Freshwater Systems. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 2018;9999:1–8


Tobias, C.R., and Neubauer, S. Salt marsh biogeochemistry – an overview. 2018. In:, Perillo, G., Wolansky, E., Cahoon, D..and Hopkinson, C. (eds), Coastal Wetlands: an ecosystem approach, 2nd addition.  Elsevier Press.


Messer, T.L., Burchell, M.R., Böhlke J.K., and Tobias, C.R.  2017. Tracing the Fate of Nitrate through Restored Wetlands: A Mesocosm Scale 15N Enrichment Tracer Study. Ecological Engineering, 106: 597-608.


Phillips, R.L., Song, B., McMillan, A.M.S., Grelet, G., Weir, B., Palmada, T.and Tobias, C. 2017. Chemical formation of hybrid di-nitrogen calls fungal codenitrification into question.  Nature Scientific Reports. 6:39077 | DOI: 10.1038/srep39077


#Ariyarathna, T., Vlahos, P., Smith, R., Böhlke, JK, Fallis, S., Groshens, T., and Tobias C. 2017. Biodegradation and mineralization of isotopically labeled TNT and RDX in anaerobic marine sediments. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.  36: 1170-1180.


#Gosnell, K., Balcom, P.H., Tobias, C.R., Gilhooly, W.P. III, and Mason, R.P. 2017.Spatial and Temporal Trophic Transfer Dynamics of Mercury and Methylmercury into Zooplankton and Phytoplankton of Long Island Sound..  Limnology and Oceanography, 62: 1122-1138.


Ensign, S., Currin, C., Piehler, M., and Tobias, C. 2017. Methods for predicting wetland shoreline sediment regimes using spatial analysis.  Geomorphology, 276: 280-288


*Ballentine, M.L., Ariyarathna, T., Smith, R.W., Cooper, C., Vlahos, P., Fallis, S., Groshens, T.J., and Tobias C.  2016. Uptake and fate of hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX) in coastal marine biota determined using a stable isotopic tracer, 15N [RDX]. Chemosphere, 153: 28-38.


Phillips, R., Grelet, G., McMillan, A., Song, B., Weir, B., Palmadal, T., and Tobias C.  2016. Fungal denitrification: Bipolaris sorokiniana exclusively denitrifies inorganic nitrogen in the presence and absence of oxygen. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 363: 2016, fnw007


#Lancaster, N.A., Bushey, J.T., Tobias, C.R., Song, B., and Vadas, T.M. 2016. Impact of chloride on denitrification potential in roadside wetlands. Environmental Pollution, 212: 216-223


#Ariyarathna, T., Vlahos, P., Tobias, C., and Smith R. 2015. Sorption kinetics of TNT and RDX in anaerobic freshwater and marine sediments: batch studies. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.  35: 47–55, 2016

Smith, R.L., Böhlke, J.K., Song, B.K., and Tobias, C.R. , 2015. Role of Ammonium oxidation (Anammox) in nitrogen removal from a freshwater aquifer. Environmental Science and Technology. 49, 12169-12177


*Smith, R.W.,Vlahos, P.,  Böhlke, J.K., Ariyarathna,  T., Ballentine M., Cooper, C., Fallis, S., Groshens, T.J., and Tobias, C. 2015.Tracing the cycling and fate of the explosive 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene in coastal marine systems with a stable isotopic tracer, 15N-[TNT]. Environmental Science and Technology, 49: 12223-12231.


*Plummer, P., Tobias, C. and Cady D. Nitrogen reduction pathways in estuarine sediments: Influences of Organic Carbon and Sulfide. 2015. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 120, doi:10.1002/2015JG003057


#Lisa, J.A., Song, B.K., Tobias, C.R., Hines, D.E. 2015.  Genetic and biogeochemical investigation of sedimentary nitrogen cycling communities responding to tidal and seasonal dynamics in Cape Fear River Estuary. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science 167: A313-A323.


#Hines, D.E., Lisa, J.A., Song, B., Tobias, C.R., and Borrett, S.R.  2015. Estimating the effects of seawater intrusion on an estuarine nitrogen cycle by comparative network analysis, Marine Ecology Progress Series. 524: 137-154.


#Sparks, E.L., Cebrian, J., Tobias, C.R., and May, C.A. 2015. Groundwater nitrogen processing in Northern Gulf of Mexico restored marshes. Journal of Environmental Management. 150:206-215.


*Smith, R., Tobias, C., Vlahos, P., Cooper, C., Ballentine, M., and Ariyarathna, T. 2015.  Mineralization of RDX-derived nitrogen to N2 via denitrification in coastal marine sediments.  Environmental Science and Technology. DOI: 10.1021/es505074v


*Ballentine, M. Tobias, C., Vlahos, P., Smith, R, and, Cooper, C. 2014 Bioconcentration of TNT and RDX in coastal marine biota. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. DOI: 10.1007/s00244-014-0104-9


Song, B., Lisa, J.A., and Tobias C.R. 2014 Linking DNRA community structure and activity in a shallow lagoonal estuarine system. 2014. Frontiers in Microbiology. 5: 1-10.


#Dabundo, R., Lehmann, M.F., Treibergs, Lija, Tobias, C.R. Altabet, M.A., Moisander, P.H., and Granger, J. 2014. The contamination of commercial 15N2 gas stocks with 15N-labeled nitrate and ammonium and consequences for nitrogen fixation measurements. PLOS One 9, 10, e110335.


#Lisa, J.A. Song, B., Tobias, C.R., and Duernberger, K.A. 2014.  Impacts of freshwater flushing on anammox community structure and activities in the New River Estuary, USA. Aquatic Microbial Ecology. 72: 17-31.


Harvey, J.W., Böhlke, J.K., Voytek, M., Scott, D., and Tobias, C. 2013 Hyporheic zone denitrification: Controls on effective reaction depth and contribution to whole-stream mass balance.  Water Resources Research.  49: 1-19


Dupraz, C., Fowler, A. J., Tobias, C. R., Visscher, P. Stromatolitic knobs in Storrs Lake (San Salvador, Bahamas): A model system for formation and alteration of laminae. Geobiology, 11: 527-548.


Giblin, A.E, Tobias, C., Song, B., Weston, N., Banta, G.T., and Rivera-Monroy, V.  2013 The importance of dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) in the nitrogen cycle of coastal ecosystems. Oceanography 26: 124-131


*Smith, R.W., Vlahos, P., Tobias, C., Ballentine, M., Ariyarathna, T., and Cooper, C. 2013. Removal rates of dissolved munitions compounds in seawater.  Chemosphere, 92: 898-904.


Hardison A. K., Canuel E. A., Anderson I. C., Tobias C. R., Veuger B., and Waters, M. 2013. Microphytobenthos and benthic macroalgae determine sediment organic matter composition in shallow photic sediments. Biogeosciences 10:  5571-5588


Borin, S. Mapelli, F., Rolli, E., Tobias, C., Schmid, M.C., DeLange, G.J., Reichart, G.J., Schouten, S., Jetten, M., and Daffonchio, D. 2013. Anammox bacterial populations in deep marine hypersaline gradient systems.  Extremophiles 17: 289-299.


Long, A., Heitman, J., Tobias, C., Philips, R., and Song , B. 2013. Co-occurring anammox, denitrification and codenitrification in agricultural soils. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 79: 168-176.


Higgins, C.B., Tobias, C., Piehler, M.F., Smyth, A.R., Dame, R.F., Stephenson, K., and Brown, B.L. 2013. Effect of aquacultured oyster biodeposition on sediment N2 production in Chesapeake Bay.  Marine Ecology Progress Series 473: 7-27.


Harvey, J. W., J. D. Drummond, R. L. Martin, L. E. McPhillips, A. I. Packman, D. J. Jerolmack, S. H. Stonedahl, A. Aubeneau, A. H. Sawyer, L. G. Larsen, and C. Tobias, 2012, Hydrogeomorphology of the hyporheic zone: Stream solute and fine particle interactions with a dynamic streambed. Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences, 117, G00N11, doi:10.1029/2012JG002043.


#Sparks, E.L., Cebrian, J., Biber, P.D., Sheehan, K.L. and Tobias, C.R.. 2012. Cost-effectiveness of two small scale salt marsh restoration designs.  Ecological Engineering 53: 250-256.


#Hines, D.E., Lisa, J.A., Song, B., Tobias, C.R. and Borrett, S.R. 2012. A network model shows the importance of coupled processes in the microbial N cycle in the Cape Fear River Estuary. Estuarine, Coastal, and Shelf Science.  106: 45-57.


Song, B.K. and Tobias, C.R.. 2011.  Molecular and Stable Isotope Methods to Detect and Measure Anaerobic Ammonium Oxidation (Anammox) in Aquatic Ecosystems. In Martin G. Klotz and Lisa Y. Stein, editors: Methods in Enzymology, Vol. 496, Burlington: Academic Press, 2011, pp. 63-89.


*Duernberger, K., C. Tobias and M.A. Mallin. 2011. Tracing nitrogen transformations through the food chain in an urbanized tidal creek. Report No. 405. Water Resources Research Institute of the University of North Carolina, Raleigh, N.C.


Hardison, A., Canuel, E., Tobias, C., Anderson, I., and Veuger, B. 2011.  Carbon and nitrogen dynamics in shallow photic systems:  Interactions between macroalgae, microalgae and bacteria.   Limnology & Oceanography 56: 1489-1503.


#Polito, M.J., Abel, S., Tobias, C.R., and Emslie, S. 2011.  Dietary isotopic discrimination in gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua) feathers.  Polar Biology . DOI 10.1007/s00300-011-0966-5.


Tobias, C. and Böhlke, J.K.  2011. Biological and Geochemical Controls on Diel Dissolved Inorganic Carbon Cycling in a Low-order Agricultural Stream: Implications for Reach Scales and Beyond. Chemical Geology, 283: 18-30.


Hardison, A., Tobias, C., Stanhope, J., Canuel, E., and Anderson, I. 2010. An experimental apparatus for laboratory and field-based perfusion of sediment pore water with dissolved tracers. Estuaries and Coasts. DOI 10.1007/s 12237-010-9285-2


Tobias, C.R., Böhlke, J.K., Harvey, J.W. , and Busenberg, E. 2009  A simple technique for measuring time-variable gas transfer in surface waters.  Limnology and Oceanography Methods, 7:185-195.


Tobias, C.R., and Neubauer, S. 2009. Salt marsh biogeochemistry – an overview. In: Cahoon, D., Perillo, G., Wolansky, E., and Brinson, M. (eds), Coastal Wetlands: an ecosystem approach. Elsevier Press. p. 445-492.


Alexander, R.A., Böhlke, J.K., Boyer, E.W., David, M.B., Harvey, J.W., Mulholland, P.J., Seitzinger, S.P., Tobias, C.R., Tonitto, C., and Wollheim, W.M.. 2009. Hydrological and biochemical effects on stream denitrification and nitrogen loads in river networks. Biogeochemistry. DOI 10.1007/s 10533-008-9274-8


Fennel, K., Brady, D., DiToro, D., Fulweiler, R.W., Gardner, W.S., Giblin, A., McCarthy, M.J., Rao, A., Seitzinger, S., Thouvenot-Korppoo, M., and Tobias, C. 2009. Modelling denitrification in aquatic sediments. Biogeochemistry. DOI 10.1007/s10533-008-9270-z


Fry, B., Cieri, M., Hughes, J., Tobias, C., Deegan, L.A., and Peterson, B.  2008.  Stable isotope monitoring of benthic-pelagic coupling with salt marsh fish. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 369: 193-204.


Bratton, J.F., Böhlke, J.K., Krantz, D.E. and Tobias, C.R. 2009. Flow and geochemistry of groundwater beneath a back-barrier lagoon: the subterranean estuary at Chincoteague Bay, Maryland.  Marine Chemistry, 113: 78-92.


#Dale, O., Song, B.K., and Tobias, C.R. 2009. Biogeographical distribution of diverse anaerobic ammonium oxidizing (ANAMMOX) bacteria in Cape Fear River Estuary.  Environmental Microbiology. Doi.10.1111/j.1462-2920.2008.01850.x.


#Polito, M., Fisher, S. Tobias C. R. and Emslie, S., 2009. Tissue-specific isotopic discrimination factors in Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis Papua) egg components: implications for dietary reconstruction using stable isotopes. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 372: 106-112


Tobias C., Böhlke, J.K., and J.W. Harvey. 2007.    The oxygen-18 isotope approach for measuring aquatic metabolism in high productivity waters. Limnology and Oceanography, 52: 1439-1453.


Seitzinger, S., Harrison , J.A., Böhlke, J.K., Bouwman, A.F., Lowrance, R., Peterson, B., Tobias C., and G. Van Drecht. 2006.  Denitrification across landscapes and waterscapes: A synthesis. Ecological Applications. 16, 2064-2090.


Järnegren, J, Tobias, C.R, Macko, S.A. and C.M. Young. 2005. Egg predation fuels unique species association at hydrocarbon seeps. Biol. Bull. 209: 87-93.


Tobias, C.R., Cieri, M.,  Peterson, B.J., Deegan, L.A., Vallino, J., and Hughes, J.  2003. Processing watershed-derived nitrogen in a well-flushed New England estuary.  Limnology and Oceanography 48: 1766-1778.


Tobias, C.R., Giblin, A.E.. McClelland, J., Tucker, J., and Peterson, B.J.  2003.  Sediment DIN fluxes and preferential recycling of benthic microalgal nitrogen in a shallow macrotidal estuary.  Marine Ecology Progress Series. 257: 25-36.


Tobias, C.R., Anderson, I.C., Canuel, E.A., and Macko, S.A. 2001  Nitrogen cycling through a fringing marsh-aquifer ecotone.  Marine Ecology Progress Series. 210: 25-39.


Tobias, C.R., Harvey, J.W., and Anderson, I.C. 2001 Quantifying groundwater discharge through fringing wetlands to estuaries: Seasonal variability, methods comparison, and implications for wetland-estuary exchange. Limnology and Oceanography.  46: 604-615.


Tobias, C.R., Macko, S.A., Anderson, I.C., Canuel, E.A., and Harvey, J.W.  2001.  Tracking the fate of a high concentration groundwater nitrate plume through a fringing marsh: A combined groundwater tracer and in situ isotope enrichment study. Limnology and Oceanography. 46: 1977-1989 (feature article).


Anderson, I.C., Tobias, C.R., Macko, S.A., and, Poth M.A.  2000.  Sources and sinks of nitrogen in acidified glacial lakes of the Bohemian Forest, Czech Republic. Silva Gabreta. 4: 135-146.


Bytnerowicz, A., Godzik, S., Poth, M., Anderson, I., Szdzuj, J., Tobias, C., Macko, S., Kubiesa, P., and Fenn, M.  1999.  Chemical composition of air, soil, and vegetation in forests of the Silesian Beskid Mountains, Poland.  Water Air and Soil Pollution.  116: 141-150.


Anderson, I.C., Tobias, C.R., Neikirk, B.B., and Wetzel, R.L.  1997.  Development of a process-based nitrogen mass balance model for a Virginia Spartina alterniflora saltmarsh: Implications for net DIN flux.  Marine Ecology Progress Series. 159: 13-27.


Canuel, E., Anderson, I., and Tobias, C.  1997.  Organic carbon abundance, distribution and metabolism at the Oyster, Virginia study site.  Final Data Report submitted to:  Batelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.


Beretta, G., and Tobias, C.  1992.  Monitoring water quality in Virgin Islands National Park.  Park Science. 12(2): 11-12.


Rogers, C.S., McLain, L.N., and Tobias, C.R.  1991.  Effects of Hurricane Hugo (1989) on a coral reef in St. John, USVI.  Marine Ecology Progress Series.  78(2): 189-199.


Rogers, C.S., McLain, L.N., and Tobias, C.R.  1990.  Damage to marine resources in Virgin Islands National Park: Often out of sight, but no longer out of mind.  Proceedings of the 1990 Congress on Coastal and Marine Tourism. 1: 132-137.



INVITED TALKS (Post PhD -present):

Tobias, C., “Tracing the fate of the energetics released in temperate marine ecosystems”, SERDP UXO Workshop, Washington DC.  2018.


Tobias, C. Nitrogen reduction in estuarine sediments: Influences of organic carbon and sulfide. XMAS III Meeting, Xiamen, China. 2017


Tobias C. 2016. Application of dredged sediments to sustain coastal wetlands on DoD Installations. ESTCP, Washington DC. 2016


Tobias, C.R. “Tracking the Fate of Munitions Compounds in Coastal Marine Ecosystems Using Stable Isotopic Tracers”, UCONN Engineering Seminar Series, Storrs, CT. 2015


Tobias, C. R., “Tracing the fate of a very unnatural source of organic nitrogen to marine ecosystems: explosive findings”, U Mass Dartmouth Mar Sci Seminar Series. 2015


Tobias, C. R., “Tracing the fate of a very unnatural source of organic nitrogen to marine ecosystems: explosive findings”, U Delaware Geosciences Seminar Series. 2015


Tobias, C. 2014. Defense Coastal Estuarine Research Program (DCERP2) Coastal Carbon Research. U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Program Office, Carbon Cycle Interagency Working Group (CCIWG) U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). Washington DC. 2014.


Tobias, C. Biological and geochemical controls on diel dissolved inorganic carbon cycling in low-order streams: Implications for reach scales and beyond. Boston University, Earth Sciences Seminar series. 2012


Tobias, C. Biological and geochemical controls on diel dissolved inorganic carbon cycling in low-order streams: Implications for reach scales and beyond. U. Maryland, CBL Seminar Series. 2012


Tobias, C. Hydraulic exchange and nutrient reactivity in the coastal wetlands of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune (MCBCL), SERDP-Scientific Advisory Board, Arlington, VA. 2010.


Tobias, C.R., Böhlke, J.K. and Harvey, J.W. Biogeochemical Controls of Oxygen and Inorganic Carbon Cycling in Streams:  Implications for Reach Scales and Beyond. Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA. 2010.


Tobias, C.R. Carbon and oxygen cycling in a Mid-western, USA stream:  Biological and geochemical controls.  Virginia Polytechnic University, Blacksburg, VA, Nov. 2008.


Tobias, C. – Processing Watershed Derived Nutrients in Coastal Ecosystems: System Scale Insights from Stable Isotope Releases –Virginia Commonwealth University, March 2006


Tobias, C. Processing Watershed Derived Nutrients in Coastal Ecosystems: System Scale Insights from Stable Isotope Releases. East Carolina University (Greenville, NC), 2006.


Tobias, C. – Processing Watershed Derived Nutrients in Coastal Ecosystems: System Scale Insights from Stable Isotope Releases -UNC Chapel Hill IMS. 2005.


Tobias, C.R.. Carbon and oxygen cycling in a high alkalinity stream: Integrating chemical, isotopic, and modeling approaches. – UNCW-CHM. 2005.


Tobias, C. Processing Watershed Derived Nutrients in Coastal Ecosystems: System Scale Insights from Stable Isotope Releases. Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. 2003.


Tobias, C. Processing Watershed Derived Nutrients in Coastal Ecosystems: System Scale Insights from Stable Isotope Releases. Texas A&M Galveston and College Station, 2002.


Tobias, C. Processing Watershed Derived Nutrients in Coastal Ecosystems: System Scale Insights from Stable Isotope Releases. Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. 2001.


Tobias, C. Processing Watershed Derived Nutrients in Coastal Ecosystems: System Scale Insights from Stable Isotope Releases. Netherlands Center for Estuarine and Marine Ecology 2001.




Past & Current  Course Offerings


Science & the Coastal Environment              Environmental Reaction and Transport

Introduction to Oceanography                       Coastal System Science II

Advanced Oceanography                                 Wetlands

Global Climate Change                                    Sediment-Water Interaction

Introduction to Geochemistry                        Isotope Geochemistry


Supervision of Undergraduate / Graduate Research:


Graduate thesis advisees:

  • Annalisa Mudahy, “High density spatial and temporal resolution of water column respiration”. MS Oceanography – Spring 2021.
  • Peter Ruffino, “Deconstructing oyster effects on denitrification”

MS Oceanography – Fall 2020

  • Dan Yu, “Nitrogen isotope dynamics in an ammonium-rich estuary”. Visiting PhD Scholar, Xiamen University, China. – Spring 2019.
  • Amanda Vieillard, “Linking oyster aquaculture to the marine nitrogen cycle”.

MS Oceanography – Summer 2017

  • Faith Raymond, “Estuarine metabolism as constrained by oxygen isotopes

MS Oceanography – Spring 2015

  • Patrick Plummer, “Geochemical controls on denitrification in temperate estuaries”, PhD Oceanography, Expected award date Spring 2018.
  • Jenay Aunkst, “Stable isotopic indicators of estuarine carbon sources and cycling” S. Oceanography – Summer 2013
  • Mark Ballentine,

PhD Oceanography, “Coastal ecosystem processing of nitrogen-rich high explosives” – Spring 2017.

  • Nicole Chang,

MS Oceanography, “Anammox in a shallow nitrogen rich coastal aquifer” – Summer  2013.

  • Taylor Graham,

M.S. Marine Science, “Microbial nitrogen cycling in the Cape Fear River estuary: Attenuation vs. recycling and the effects of a variable freshwater-saltwater boundary – Fall 2008

  • Kimberely Duernberger,

M.S. Marine Science, “Tracing nitrogen transformations and food chain uptake in an urbanized tidal creek” – Spring 2008.

  • Nicholas Ballew,

M.S. Chemistry, “Identification of nitrogen sources supporting primary production, present and past: A biomarker isotope approach” – Fall 2007

  • Matthew Lettrich,

M.S. Marine Science, “Nutrient transport and reactivity in fringing marshes.” – Spring 2011.


Undergraduate Honors Thesis or Research advisees:

  • Clare Schlink, “Denitrification in the Pawcatuck River Estuary”, B.S. Marine Science.
  • Peter Ruffino, “Assessing black carbon inputs to estuaries using the pyromarker levoglucosan”, B.S. Marine Science.
  • Veronica Rollinson, “Nitrogen isotope indicators of eutrophication in the Virgin Islands National Park., B.S. Marine Science.
  • Stephanie Salisbury, “Evaluation of small-scale push pull experiments to quantify streambed denitrification”, B.S. Chemistry.
  • Johnathan Maxey, “Linking tidal creek water quality to land-use using stable isotopes”, B.S. Biology / B.A. Chemistry



Synergistic Activities


2018                Isotope methodology tech transfer – NIWA, Wellington New Zealand.


2017-present   “Interested Party” CT Blue Plan – Marine Spatial Planning in Long Island Sound


2017-present   Volunteer -Clean Up Sound and Harbors, Stonington, CT


2016-present   CT NERRS Selection Advisory Committee


2015-present   Ad Hoc Advisor to ‘Save Coral Bay’, St. John USVI


2014-2015       CT Academy of Science and Engineering Advisory Committee on Revision of CT Phosphorous Regulations


2013-2018      Assoc. Editor – Estuaries and Coasts,


2011-present   Niantic River Estuary Nitrogen Working Group


2009-2014       Undergraduate Marine Sciences Major Coordinator – UCONN


2007-2009       Chair, Public Relations Committee UNCW Dept. Geogr. & Geol.


2006-2009       Program Chair, Southeastern Estuarine Research Society


2005-2009       Founder/Coordinator, UNCW/CMS Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS) Laboratory


2006-present   -Invited Participant, NSF-RCN Denitrification Modeling Workshop,


2003                -Invited Participant, USGS Northeast Regional Coastal Science Workshop


2001                -Invited Participant, NSF Antarctic Workshop


2000                -Mentor, NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)



FUNDING HISTORY (2005 – present)


Collaborative Research:  Chemical dinitrogen formation as a novel and unaccounted pathway of biogeochemical nitrogen cycle (NSF-EAR Geobiology, $327,000) Pending, Resubmission.


Water Column O2 Respiration – Rates, Distribution, Drivers, and Elemental Stoichiometry (EPA, $384,977, 03/01/2019-03/01/2021).  PI Funded.


NTO and DNAN Transformations Quantified Using Enriched Stable Isotope Tracers (SERDP-DOD, $993,000, 04/01/2019-04/01/2022). PI Funded.


Tracer Investigation of the Fate of TNT and RDX in Marine Ecosystems. (SERDP –DOD, $49,000, 12/04/2017-12/04/2018). PI, Funded


Chemical di-nitrogen formation bypassing nitrous oxide (New Zealand Fund for Global Partnerships, $35,000, Sep 2017 – Nov 2018), Co-PI. Funded.


Labeled Tracers, an Innovation Way to Validate Natural Attenuation of RDX in Groundwater (DOD-NAVFAC, $285,000, Apr 2017 – Apr 2020). PI, Funded.


Collaborative Research: Cryptic Nitrogen Cycling in the Anoxic Subterranean Estuary (NSF OCE, $159,999, May 2017 – Apr 2020), Co-PI. Funded.


Scoping of Dredge Materials Islands and Wetlands for Green Infrastructure Resiliency (CTDOH, $317,709, Jan 2016 – Sep 2017). Co-PI.


Preliminary Proposal: LTER: Long Island Sound Urban Coast LTER – Coupled Climate and Anthropogenic Alteration of Coastal Ecosystem Structure and Function (NSF). PI. Panel recommended. PO declined.


Diurnal and Tidal Variations in Heating, Wind Stress, and Carbon Fluxes from a Subtropical Marsh: Does Uptake of Carbon Dioxide by Marshes Depend on the Timing of Low Tide Relative to Local Noon? (UCONN REP, $33,745, June 2016 – June 2017). Funded, Co-PI


Linking Shoreline Groundwater Discharge to Coral Survival: A Preliminary Study. (USGS, In kind support, May 2016 – October 2016). Funded, Co-PI.


Collaborative Research: Deconstructing Nitrate Stable Isotope Ratios in Aquifers. (NSF-EAR, $300,000), May 2015 – April 2018). Funded, Co-PI.


Linking Watershed Land-use to Eutrophication of Tropical Embayments in the Virgin Islands National Park Using Stable Isotopes and Water Mass Tracers (USGS, In-kind support, Nov 2013-present). Funded Co-PI.


Development of an In Situ Passive Sampler for the Detection and Remediation of Explosive Compounds (DOD, $147,698) March 2015-Feb 2016. Funded. Co-PI


Biogeochemical Nitrogen Loss vs. Recycling in Long Island Sound: Connecting Sediments to Overlying Water (Long Island Sound Study, $265,000) March 2015 –Feb 2017. Funded. PI


Unveiling Fungal Contributions to Soil Nitrogen Cycling and Agroecosystems Applying Organic and Inorganic Fertilizers (USDA, $75,000) Dec 2013-Dec 2016. Funded. Co-PI


Collaborative Research: Microbial Regulation of Greenhouse Gas N2O Emission from Intertidal Oyster Reefs (NSF-OCE , $224,210)  Sept 2012-Aug 2016. Funded. Co-PI


Carbon Source, Metabolism, and Burial in the New River Estuary and Adjacent Marshes (DCERP, $304,404) Nov 2012 – Nov 2016. Funded. PI


Nitrogen Removal Capacity of Connecticut Estuaries:  Assessing Distribution and Controls (LIS Program, $38,000, PI) May 2011-April 2012. Funded. PI


Tracking the Uptake, Translocation, Cycling, and Metabolism of Munitions Compounds in Coastal Marine Ecosystems Using Stable Isotopic Tracer (DOD-SERDP, $2,245,000 total, $1,820,896 UConn, PI). March 2011 – May 2016.  Funded. PI


Collaborative Research: Anammox in a Shallow Coastal Aquifer – Combining In Situ Stable Isotope and Molecular Approaches to Examine Controls on Rates and Communities. (NSF-EAR, $441,000, PI). Aug 2010- Aug 2015).  Funded. PI


Collaborative Research: MSB: Impact of Sea Level Rise on Sedimentary Nitrogen Removal Processes in Tidal Freshwater Ecosystem (NSF-DEB, $314,512, Co-PI). Aug 2010-Sep 2015.  Funded. Co-PI


ANAMMOX: A New Sink of N Fertilizer in Agricultural Fields (USDA, $398,000, Co-PI), Feb 2009 – Jan 2012. Funded. Co-PI


Implication of ANAMMOX Community Structure in Estuarine N Cycle (NSF –OCE, $515,000, Co-PI), Feb. 2009-Jan 2012. Funded. Co-PI


Nitrogen Removal Capacity of NC Estuaries:  Assessing Distribution and Controls (NC Sea Grant, $99,908, PI) April 2008-March 2010. Funded. PI


Linking Hydrogeomorphology and Denitrification in the Tidal Freshwater Region of Coastal Streams (NSF Hydrologic Sciences, $356,000, PI), March 2008 – June 2011. Funded. PI


Hydraulic Exchange and Nutrient Reactivity in the Wetlands of the New River Estuary.  (DOD, $389,000, PI), Sep. 2007 – Sep 2012. Funded. PI


Benthic Microalgal Regulation of Carbon and Nitrogen Turnover in Land-margin Ecosystems: A Dual Isotopic Tracer Approach.  (NSF –REU Supplement, $6,000 UNCW, PI) June 07 – June 08. Funded. PI


Benthic Microalgal Regulation of Carbon and Nitrogen Turnover in Land-margin Ecosystems: A Dual Isotopic Tracer Approach.  (NSF –DEB, $700,000 total, $230,000 UNCW, PI) Mar 06 – Mar 12.  Funded. PI


Evaluating the Role of Restored Black Needlerush Marsh (Juncus roemarianus) as a Buffer of Anthropogenic Eutrophication of Coastal Systems:  An isotope enrichment approach.  (MS-Al Sea Grant Consortium, $97,041, Co-PI). Mar 06 – Mar 08. Funded. Co-PI


Microbial Nitrogen Cycling in the Cape Fear River Estuary: Attenuation vs. Recycling and the Effects of a Variable Freshwater-Saltwater Boundary, (NC Sea Grant, $86,840 + student, PI) Mar 06 –Mar 08. Funded. PI


Tracing Nitrogen Transformations and Food Chain Uptake in an Urbanized Tidal Creek. (NC-WRRI, $49,616, PI). May 06 – May 07. Funded. PI


Identification of Nitrogen Sources Supporting Primary Production, Present and Past: A Biomarker Isotope Approach. (UNCW-CMS, $33,962, PI).June 05-June 06. Funded. PI



2016                -Strategic Environmental Research Defense Program Environmental Restoration 2016 Project of the Year

2015                -2006 Publication selected by Ecological Society of America (ESA) among ‘100 Notable Papers in ESA History’

2013, 2014      -UConn Provost’s Letter for Excellence in Teaching

2011, 2013      -UConn Avery Point Outstanding Research Award

2007, 2008      -UNCW Undergraduate Teaching Impact Award

2002-2004       -National Research Council Fellow

2001                -ASLO DIALOG IV Symposium Invitee

1999                -Matthew Fontaine Maury Award for Outstanding Achievements in Interdisciplinary Marine Sciences

1995                -National Science Foundation Doctoral Improvement Fellowship

1993-1996       -PhD Fellowship Award, School of Marine Science, College of William & Mary.

1989                – Phi Beta Kappa



MemberAmerican Society of Limnology and Oceanography, Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation, Geologic Society of America, American Geophysical Union, SETAC, Sigma Xi


Reviewer–  Applied Geochemistry, Biogeochemistry, Chemical Geology, Environmental Science and Technology, Estuaries and Coasts, Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science, Groundwater, Journal of Environmental Quality, Journal of Geophysical Research,  Limnology and Oceanography, Marine Ecology Progress Series, Nature Communications, Wetlands, Water Resources Research


Advisory Panels, Committees, Workshops

-Requested Review Panel member for U.S. Congressional review of Long Island Sound Restoration Program.  2017.


-Review Panel member for National Academy of Sciences Gulf of Mexico Restoration Program. Proposal review and recommendations. 2017 – present.


-Interested Party CT Blue Plan – Provide ad hoc comments on CT marine spatial planning initiative. 2017–present.


-Long Island Sound Science and Technology Advisory Committee – Contribute to identifying data gaps and establishing research priorities. Pending confirmation.


-Liaison between Defense Coastal Estuarine Research Program (DCERP) and U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Program Office, Carbon Cycle Interagency Working Group (CCIWG) U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP).


-CT National Estuarine Research Reserve Site Selection Committee (CTNERRS).  Review potential sites for the CT NERR.  Participate in stakeholder engagement. 2016-present.


-DOD advisory workshop on environmental fate and transport of next generation munitions constituents. Invited participant. 2015


-DCERP Executive Coordinating Committee Member. Guide integration of DCERP research and decision support tools. Brief the DCERP Technical Advisory Committee and Scientific Advisory Board, and respond their oversight. 2012-present.


-Niantic River Estuary Nitrogen Working Group. Member.  Public/private partner advisory group to CT DEEP for eutrophication issues in the Niantic River. 2011-present.


-NSF Research Coordination Network (RCN) Working Group, Kingston RI, Participant.  Evaluate and compile current denitrification research in human dominated landscapes. 2009.


UNC Coastal Studies Institute Science Coordinating Committee. Contribute guidance for setting research priorities for new institute. 2006-2009.


-NSF RCN Working Group, Milbrook, NY  – Participant.  Review and summarize current approaches for modeling denitrification across terrestrial, freshwater, and marine systems. 2006.


Community Outreach

-Clean Up Sounds and Harbors (CUSH) – Advise local citizen science group on water quality sampling. Participate in sampling. 2017-present.


-Save Coral Bay – Ad hoc science advisor for citizens conservation group, St. John, USVI. 2013-present.


-Consultant to World Wildlife Fund (WWF).  Review water quality implications of post Indo-Pacific tsunami reconstruction projects funded by WWF.  2005-2008