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Dr. Mitra's Blog

PAH Fingerprint of Deepwater Horizon Oil

PAH Distributions in Deepwater Horizon Riser oil and surface slicks of the Gulf of Mexico

Our PAH analyses suggests that there is a "fingerprint" of the PAHs from the Deepwater Horzion riser oil (see image). We're presently working on a paper in which we document the presence of that fingerprint in zooplankton collected from the Gulf of Mexico in September 2010.

NSF RAPID Field Work

The field work designed to collect baseline samples for the NSF RAPID project began on July 19th 2010. Jim Watson, my trusty sidekick, and I were "locked and loaded", ready to begin sampling the atmosphere in the Gulf Coast states.

NSF RAPID Awarded

NSF Chemical Oceanography has awarded the Mitra Organic Geochemistry group a RAPID award to determine if storms during the 2010 hurricane season will transfer oil-derived hydrocarbons to land via rainfall.

http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=1047736

Dr. Glendon B. Hunsinger's First Dissertation Paper Makes It Into Limnology and Oceanography!!

Glendon Hunsinger, the Mitra Organic Geochemistry group's first PhD student, gets his first dissertation paper published in the prestigious journal Limnology and Oceanography! Congratulations Glendon!

Local News Coverage of ECU Professors' Involvement in Gulf Oil Spill Related Research

This past week, Dr. Dave Kimmel and I were interviewed several times by local media. No, we didn't rob a bank!!:) We are both involved in research projects related to the Deepwater Horizon spill.

Here is a link to one of the stories:

http://www2.wnct.com/news/2010/jun/08/ecu-profs-research-gulf-spill-hydr...

Water sampling in coastal North Carolina and the Gulf Stream for baseline levels of hydrocarbons

Greetings Everyone! My graduate student Nidhi Patel, an undergraduate Kirsten Grosweiller, and I just returned from a ~24h cruise collecting water and sediment from coastal North Carolina. This expedition was conducted in collaboration with UNC Wilmington onboard their vessel the R/V Cape Fear. The samples we collected will be analyzed for baseline levels of hydrocarbons in case the Deepwater Horizon spill makes it way around Florida and proceeds up the Atlantic seaboard.

Stay tuned for the results of our analyses.

SM

Graduate and Undergraduate Students Present at ECU Research and Creativity Week

Nidhi Patel, Caitlin Bell, and Josh Bartel all presented the results of their research at this week's Research and Creativity Week.

Congratulations to Dr. Glendon B. Hunsinger, the first Mitra Organic Geochemistry PhD student

The Candidate Thoughts About His Advisor_3.JPG

Glendon Brian Hunsinger succesfully defended his PhD dissertation on April 16th, 2009.  Glendon did most of his work in the Hudson River.  Throughout his graduate career, he has been awarded not one, but two prestigious graduate fellowships:  a National Estuarine Research Reserve Fellowship as well as a US EPA Greater Research Opportunities Fellowship.

His work highlited the importance of river riparian zones in changing the composition of organic matter that is delivered to the main body of the river. Stay tuned for the publications resulting from his work.

Recent Paper Gets Featured by Discovery Channel

Check out our recent article on the Discovery Channel Network.

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/02/25/wildfire-drought-warming.html

Current Professional and Scholarly Interests

My expertise lies in the field of Organic Geochemistry. One goal of our research group is to address questions about the composition of organic matter in coastal systems. Throughout geologic time, the transfer of carbon from the atmosphere to the geosphere by organic matter fixation has played a significant role in atmospheric carbon dioxide and oxygen levels, and hence, has affected the Earth’s climate. A main route of transfer of carbon from the atmosphere to the geosphere is by river discharge of terrestrial organic matter to coastal systems. So, we try to better understand the composition, flux, and fate of the types of organic molecules transported by rivers and buried in coastal environments.