Our Atmospheric (Trace gas) Biogeochemistry Laboratory quantifies sources and sinks of environmentally important trace gases, determines the biological and environmental controls on those fluxes, identifies the biochemical and abiotic mechanisms involved, and assesses impacts of land use and climate change on emissions.
Trace gases are central to global environmental issues (climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion and the atmospheric oxidation capacity) as well as regional air pollution (urban smog and acid rain). They also serve as indicators and regulators of ecosystem function and health (net primary production, ecosystem stress, plant communication).
Our trace gas biogeochemistry research addresses questions at all of these scales, from mechanistic studies at the molecular scale, to fluxes measured at the plant to ecosystem scale, to an understanding of atmospheric sources and sinks at the global scale. Our recent work focuses on the biogeochemistry of halocarbons, hydrocarbons, and reduced sulfur compounds. These are radiatively active compounds, either directly as greenhouse and/or ozone-depleting compounds, or indirectly through the production of ozone and/or aerosols. This work is essential to understanding how these chemicals move and interact in the global environment, and this knowledge is a prerequisite to making sound policy decisions to protect ecosystem and human health.
(September 18, 2023) Welcome to the new Atmospheric Biogeochemistry URAP cohort for fall 2023. These 5 undergraduates join the laboratory with a variety of backgrounds and majors, all bringing with them a commitment to careful scientific research, intellectual curiosity, and academic excellence.
(September 16, 2023) In this interdisciplinary study just published in Communications Earth & Environment, former visiting scholar Dr. Wanying Zhang et al. report how the Antarctic tundra shifts from a sink to a source of carbonyl sulfide (OCS) under the influence of sea animal colonies.
(August 17, 2023) Rob Rhew is pleased to join the editorial board of Biogeosciences.
(August 1, 2023) In the Fall Semester, Prof. Rhew will be offering Geog 143 (Global Change Biogeochemistry), NatRes 24 (Global Environment Theme House), and UGIS 192D (Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program).
(July 1, 2023) Dr. Robert Rhew has been appointed as faculty co-chair of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Standing Committee (AAPISC)