Marine dissolved organic matter (DOM) is an enigmatic pool of carbon-based compounds in the world's oceans, representing a pool of carbon comparable in size to the atmospheric pool of carbon dioxide. It is a complex mixture of thousands of unique chemical compounds, of which only ~10% are truly identifiable. DOM reactivity varies considerably with some fractions turning over in the order of hours to days, and others turning over on the scale of millennia. The chemical nature of DOM drives reactivity and to understand the diverse roles that DOM plays in the carbon cycle from local to global scales, it is necessary to understand the chemistry of DOM. Our research program is defined by the overarching goal of understanding the role that DOM plays in the global carbon cycle and how it impacts marine ecosystems. Three specific objectives will examine different aspects of DOM chemistry:
The combination of these three complementary objectives and the results they will provide will help us to understand a challenging but crucial part of the marine carbon cycle.