Postdoctoral Researchers and Research Associates:
Dr. Joanna Kinsey
My current research in the Osburn Lab investigates phytoplankton-derived particulate organic matter (POM) transformed through microbial degradation and disaggregation as a potential source of autochthonous chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM). In addition to optical properties, carbon concentration and carbon stable isotopes, our collaborators also examine algal and bacterial biomass, rates of enzymatic activity, and targeted chemical concentrations. This interdisciplinary project combines both algal culture studies and open-ocean field sampling to determine the role of phytoplankton in altering the optical properties of the ocean and carbon cycling throughout the water column. I received my Ph.D. in December 2014 with Dr. David Kieber at the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York. My doctoral research examined how changes in iron limitation, irradiance intensity, and spectral quality affected the growth and dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP), dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), dimethylsulfide (DMS), and acrylate concentrations in Phaeocystis antarctica. In addition I have participated in several research cruises investigating aerosol production from bubble bursting, dimethylsulfide photochemistry, and biological consumption of DMSO and acrylate.
Dr. Diana Oviedo Vargas
My research fields include aquatic biogeochemistry and aquatic ecology. My research as part of the Osburn Lab has focused on understanding the export of 'blue carbon' to the ocean. Blue carbon refers to organic carbon stored and sequestered in coastal ecosystems through primary production, and it represents a major carbon reservoir globally. However climate change and other human-driven alterations of the coastal ecosystems have accelerated the loss of blue carbon to the ocean. As part of a larger research team I work on characterizing the optically active (chromophoric or fluorescent) fraction of the organic matter in the coastal ocean. The research sites I investigate are located in the Gulf of Mexico and include the Apalachicola Bay in Florida and the Barataria Bay in Luisiana. The main goal of my work is to identify optical metrics with the potential to be used as proxies for blue carbon. Although my work is based on two delimited bays, in collaboration with experts in remote sensing and ocean circulation, the outcomes of my work will be ultimately used to reach larger scale quantitative estimates of blue carbon export.
I am a second year Master's student in the Osburn Lab studying organic matter quality across climatic gradients. At my five locations, I study how differing environments influence changes in optical properties, organic carbon concentrations, and stable carbon isotopic compositions in both the dissolved and the particulate fractions. I received my B.S. in Marine Chemistry from NC State University in May 2015 and decided to stay to pursue my Master's degree. Go Wolfpack!
My current research is on how different groundwater sources influence the quantity and quality of the dissolved organic matter in streams. I am involved in a paired watershed study of two small streams in Costa Rica that have different groundwater sources. The larger project is to better understand the carbon cycle in this tropical environment. Specifically, I study the differences in the dissolved organic carbon concentrations, optical properties, and stable carbon isotopes between these two streams and how they vary at different flow regimes (i.e. baseflow and stormflow). I received my B.S. in Geology from the College of William and Mary in May 2014, where I conducted research on the water chemistry of the groundwater and surface water at Jamestown Island and how the interaction between the two influenced the drinking water quality. This piqued my interest water chemistry and led me to pursue an M.S. in Earth Science at NCSU.
I am a Foreign Fulbright scholar from Mauritius island, pursuing a Master's in Marine Science at NC State. Prior to joining the Osburn Lab Group, I earned a Bachelor's degree in Marine Science and Technology from the University of Mauritius, following which I worked as an Associate Research Scientist at the Mauritius Oceanography Institute for 2 years, investigating the potential of marine sponges as sources of bioactive molecules for use in the pharmaceutical industry. Currently for my Masters research, I am investigating the influence of water circulation of the distribution of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in a tidal creek fringed by a salt marsh system, where significant carbon exchange occurs.
I am a United States Submarine Sonar Technician veteran with 5 years sea going experience, proficient in determining/measuring underwater sound propagation to develop a regional sound speed profile as well as bottom sounding and hi-resolution topography measurements. Technical experience includes maintenance of various transducers, hydrophones, and preventative and correctional maintenance of server systems to include fiber optics.
I am now a senior at NCSU pursuing a B.S. of Geology. Current research under Dr. Osburn includes processing of water samples from multiple sites to include lakes in Greenland and local amenity ponds throughout Wake county. My interest is rooted in the chemical analysis of said samples through the process of measuring absorbance, fluorescence, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) to ultimately determine potential carbon fluctuations at a given site
Currently resides in Angier, NC with his wife, Rachel, and daughter, Eleanora.
I am an undergraduate here at NC State, studying Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation. In the Osburn lab, I am working with Cindy studying the oxygen and organics in the waters of Bald Head Creek, here in North Carolina. My part in this research is mainly conducting experiments with sediments collected from the marsh, measuring the amount of dissolved oxygen the organics in the soil require. In short, I play with mud. Its not much of a surprise that I have come to work in a marine lab studying marsh environments. I was born on the Eastern shore of Virginia, a small peninsula with lots of salt marshes. Growing up, I was fascinated with the water and spent plenty of time in the mud catching fiddler crabs, learning eating raw oysters, and generally enjoying the area. My goal is to eventually go back there to try and improve the diminishing quality of the marshes and surrounding waters.
Osburn Lab Alumni (and last known whereabouts):
- Lauren Handsel, M.S., 2015, Marine Science; currently a staff scientist at Cardno
- Sarah Ellen Johnston, M.S., 2015, Earth Science; now pursuing a Ph.D. in biogeochemical cycles at Florida State University
- Jennifer Dickson, Ph.D., 2014, Marine Science; now a postdoc at NCSU
- Daniel Rojas-Jimenez, M.S., 2014, Earth Science
- Adeline Brym, M.S., 2013, Marine Science; now a chemist at URS Corp.
- Molly Mikan, M.S., 2012, Marine Science; now pursuing a PhD in Biological Oceanography at Old Dominion University
- Kaitlin Tucker (summer 2012, B.S. Marine Science - Geology); now pursuing an M.S. in marine science at University of Delaware
- Meghan McGrath (summer 2010, B.S. Environmental Engineering); now working as an engineer for RTI International
- Wendell Bunch (summer 2010, B.S. Environmental Science - Geology); now serving in the US Army
- Patrick Bedsole (B.S., Marine Chemistry); now pursuing an M.S. in marine science at the University of Rhode Island
- Sara Gillikin (Summer 2010, B.S. in Environmental Engineering)
- Stewart Farling (Summer 2010; B.S. in Environmental Engineering); now an environmental engineer at URS Corp.
- Kirk Spicer (Summer 2010; B.S. in Environmental Engineering), EHS coordinator at Eaton Corporation in Charlotte, NC
- Nathan Hampton (Summer 2010; B.S. in Environmental Engineering)
- Dominic Libera (summer 2009; B.S. in Environmental Engineering); now a graduate assistant at NCSU