The Conte Research Group

Dr. Maureen Conte’s research group conducts multi-disciplinary research on ocean and terrestrial carbon cycle processes using a variety of geochemical and isotopic techniques.    
The Bermuda Oceanic Flux Program (OFP) is an on-going time-series of sedimentation patterns in the deep Sargasso Sea that spans over thirty years. The OFP time-series anchors our oceanographic research activities and helps to foster our research and educational collaborations across a diverse scientific community. The OFP mooring’s three sediment traps collect a continuous record of particulate flux through the water column. Detailed analyses of the flux composition using a variety of chemical techniques yield valuable insights into the interplay between the ocean’s particle cycle, ocean biology and physics, and climate.

Our terrestrial research employs low-level molecular and isotopic techniques to illuminate carbon cycling processes on both ecosystem and continental scales. We are using diagnostic organic compounds (biomarkers) that are emitted as small particles (aerosols) into the atmosphere by terrestrial plants and accumulate in continentally-derived air masses. Using these biomarkers we can evaluate terrestrial biosphere status over large spatial scales and assess seasonal and inter-annual variability in response to environmental paramaters such as rainfall. Our terrestrial research sites have ranged from the tropical rainforest to the arctic tundra, as well as on ocean islands that are downwind of major continental ecosystems. Studies at the ecosystem level are conducted to better quantify linkages between plant ecosystems and the biomarker compounds present in atmospheric aerosols.

The Conte research laboratory is located at The Ecosystems Center of the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, MA.