Borehole imageResearch

The long-term vision that drives research in the Glazer Lab is to develop an understanding of the synergy between geochemical processes and microbial diversity and function. In pursuit of this over-arching goal, it is also a high priority to minimize sampling artifacts for measuring many (micro)biologically important chemical species in the environment through further development of in situ measurement techniques and instrumentation, especially in situ voltammetry. Working toward these broad objectives requires interdisciplinary collaboration with international experts in their subdisciplines, provides a suite of diverse research opportunities in exciting and undersampled environments, and results in publications spanning aspects of aquatic chemistry, chemical oceanography, sedimentary geochemistry, hydrothermal microbiology, ocean observing technology, and solid-state sensor development.

In the near-term, work is focused upon oxic-anoxic transitions in modern aquatic systems to better understand the relationship between redox disequilibria and microbes living in proximity to, or even mediating, steep redox gradients and pronounced geochemical interfaces. Microbes can use a wide range of electron acceptors in addition to oxygen for respiration. Microbial processes are thereby integral to all the major elemental cycles relevant to life on Earth, making oxic-anoxic transitions and their associated changes in energy flow and chemical speciation of particular interest. Furthermore, processes occurring at oxic-anoxic transitions of diverse temporal and spatial scales have been globally significant throughout Earth’s evolutionary history and are likely to be important in any aquatic environment that may potentially exist (or have existed) in extraterrestrial environments.

Deep-sea volcanoes

Since their discovery in 1987, hydrothermal vent fields at the summit of the volcanic Loihi Seamount, near the island of Hawaii, have been the focus of intense research. But only recently did scientists discover that something unusual and important was also happening at the base of this seamount, 5,000 meters down. Read more about it...or watch some video highlights...

subseafloor biosphere image

Subseafloor Biosphere

The intrigue and significance of the deep subsurface is rooted in its vast volume, hydrodynamic flow regime, and plentiful reduced inorganic energy sources (especially Fe & S) for hosting a previously-undescribed significant microbial population that has the potential to affect global biogeochemical cycles. We are using Integrated Ocean Drilling Program boreholes on the Juan de Fuca Ridge (and new holes planned for the mid-Atlantic Ridge in 2011) to access fluids from the subseafloor hydrothermal basement.
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Coastal Benthic Boundary Layer - Coastal Hawaiian Fishpond

We have been working to help managers of Paepae o He`eia characterize and understand biogeochemical cycling within a native Hawaiian Fishpond since 2006. We study fundamental biogeochemical cycling of redox-reactive chemical species coupled to nutrient and carbon dynamics along a mangrove-to-reef sediment transect, and quantify sediment-water interface fluxes. Read more about it here.
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coastal benthic image

Coastal Benthic Boundary Layer - Permeable Sediments

Interactions between physical, chemical, and biological processes are evident in the commercially relevant coastal zone. We are studying fundamental biogeochemical cycling of redox-reactive chemical species coupled to nutrient and carbon dynamics at the sediment-water interface in nearshore permeable reef sands environments.
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Sensors and Instrumentation Development

Through close collaboration with the private sector (Analytical Instrument Systems, Inc.), we are constantly improving upon existing designs for in situ electrochemical analyzers, specific deployment configurations, and improved sensor functionality and durability. Additionally, we are pioneering design and testing of a novel automated analytical software package for processing extremely large datasets that are typically collected using in situ voltammetry.
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