Dr. Aric Mine: Nutrient Cycling in Aquatic Systems: the Drivers of Primary Production

Nutrient Cycling in Aquatic Systems: the Drivers of Primary Production

October 31th, 2018 at the SSB 130 room, UC Merced, starting at 12:30 pm. Vegetarian snacks, fair-trade coffee and tea will be provided. Please, bring your own mug to decrease waste. 


Phosphorus is a primary limiting nutrient in aquatic systems, where phosphate availability controls the extent of primary production, carbon export fluxes, and ultimately climate. In phosphate-limited regions, organisms rely on efficient recycling of nutrients to meet metabolic demand when nutrient concentrations are low. My work investigates the mechanisms responsible for nutrient availability and nutrient cycling of phosphorus in surface water aquatic habitats at the microbial level. The microbial loop of phosphate is primarily comprised of uptake, release, and regeneration fluxes, although release and recycling of phosphate had previously not been quantified. To resolve the release of phosphate and its transformation, detailed laboratory experiments with model bacteria were completed alongside field investigations with natural surface water bacterial populations. These investigations demonstrated that the release of nutrients from cells via lysis, or cell death, constitutes an important previously unresolved nutrient flux. These newly quantified fluxes provide essential constraints to sustaining primary production in aquatic regions with limited allochthonous nutrient supply. Quantitative approaches that resolve the connection between nutrient availability and production are directly linked to the drawdown of carbon dioxide and the amount of carbon export to the deep ocean. This work provides a new approach for resolving the link between nutrient availability and climate, and can be applied to past, current, and future climate change.



Aric Mine

Aric graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a BS in Geology. He received his PhD in aquatic biogeochemistry at the University of Chicago where his work was supported through an EPA STAR fellowship. He joined the Earth and Environmental Science department as an assistant professor in 2017 where he has further developed the environmental science program and continued his work focusing on phosphorus cycling in aquatic systems. His current focus on nutrient cycle perturbations in local aquatic evnrionments will look more closely at the link between agricultural activity and algal bloom development. Aric also uses a historical understanding to contextualize our current understanding of global environmental change through the use of stable isotopic proxies.

Did you know…? The ES Seminar is committed to decrease our environmental footprint. Our luncheons and seminar snacks are only vegetarian or vegan options. We brew our own coffee and tea, and encourage the participants to bring their own mugs to decrease waste.

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