Phoebe J. Lam

TitleAssistant Professor
DivisionPhysical & Biological Sciences
DepartmentPBSci-Ocean Sciences Department,
Institute of Marine Sciences
Phone831-459-4587 (office)
FAX831-459-4882 (department)
Web Site Lam Lab at UCSC
Phoebe's WHOI website
Maija Heller's webpage
OfficeEarth and Marine Sciences A446
Campus Mail StopOcean Sciences
Mail1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA
Phoebe J. Lam

Research Interests

I am a “marine particle geochemist” interested in the role that marine particles play in the biogeochemical cycling of major and minor elements in the ocean such as carbon, iron, and other trace elements. This includes the factors affecting the efficiency of the biological carbon pump; the past and current role of iron in stimulating primary production; the chemical speciation and bioavailability of marine particulate iron; the role of major particle composition on particle export (the ballast hypothesis) and on trace metal scavenging; and much more! I am actively involved in the International GEOTRACES program, which is greatly expanding our understanding of the cycling of trace elements in the ocean, and revealing new questions about the role of particles every day.

Our standard mode of operation is to collect size-fractionated marine particles from the water column, and analyze their composition using a range of wet geochemical (e.g., ICP-MS) and spectroscopic (e.g., synchrotron x-ray absorption spectroscopy) techniques. We are constantly expanding our toolkit in collaboration with colleagues specializing in modeling (e.g., using inverse methods to study scavenging and particle dynamics), isotope geochemistry (e.g., using Nd isotopes to study provenance, or Cd and Zn isotopes to study biological uptake and remineralization), or radiochemistry (e.g., using 234Th-238U disequilibrium to measure particle export flux) to deepen our understanding of the role of particles in the marine environment.

Click here to see a video of in-situ pumps and 30L Niskin bottles being recovered on the Eastern Pacific Zonal Transect GEOTRACES cruise, and here to zoom in on the filter holder recovery (where the size-fractionated particles are collected).

Biography, Education and Training

2014-present Assistant Professor, Ocean Sciences, UCSC
2011-2014 Associate Scientist, Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, WHOI
2007-2011 Assistant Scientist, Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, WHOI
2005-2007 Postdoctoral Scholar, Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, WHOI
2005 Ph.D. Earth and Planetary Science, University of California, Berkeley
1999 M.A. Geosciences, Princeton University
1997 S.B. Environmental Engineering Science, MIT

Selected Publications

See google scholar for latest publications.

(* indicates student in Lam lab)

Lam, P.J. and O. Marchal. In press. Insights into Particle Cycling from Thorium and Particle Data. Annu. Rev. Mar. Sci. 2015. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-marine-010814-015623

Lam, P.J., Ohnemus, D.C., Auro, M.E., In press. Size fractionated major particle composition and mass from the US GEOTRACES North Atlantic Zonal Transect.  Deep Sea Research Part II.

*Ohnemus, D.C. and P.J. Lam. In Press. Cycling of Lithogenic Marine Particulates in the US GEOTRACES North Atlantic Zonal Transect. Deep-Sea Research II.

*Ohnemus, D.C., P.J. Lam, R.M. Sherrell, P.L. Morton, S.M. Rauschenberg, B.S. Twining, 2014. Piranha: a chemical method for dissolution of polyethersulfone filters and laboratory inter-comparison of marine particulate digests. Limnology and Oceanography, Methods 12, 530-547. 10.4319/lom.2014.12.530.

Lima, I.D., P.J. Lam, and S.C. Doney, 2013. Dynamics of particulate organic carbon flux in a global ocean model. Biogeosciences, 11 (4), 1177-1198. doi:10.5194/bg-11-1177-2014.

Marcus, M.A. and P.J. Lam, 2013Visualising Fe speciation diversity in ocean particulate samples by micro-XANES, Environmental Chemistry, 11 (1): 10-17, doi: 10.1071/EN13075.

Lam, P.J., Robinson, L.F., Blusztajn, J., Li, C., Cook, M.S., McManus, J.F., Keigwin, L.D., 2013. Transient stratification as the cause of the North Pacific productivity spike during deglaciation. Nature Geoscience 6, 622-626. doi:10.1038/ngeo1873.

Bishop, J.K.B., P.J. Lam, T.J. Wood, 2012. Getting good particles: accurate sampling of particles by large volume in-situ filtration. Limnology and Oceanography Methods 10, 681-710. doi:10.4319/lom.2012.10.681.

Lam, P. J., D. C. Ohnemus*, and M.A. Marcus. 2012. The speciation of marine particulate iron adjacent to active and passive continental margins, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 80, 108-124, doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2011.11.044.

Lam, P. J., S.C. Doney, and J. K. B. Bishop. 2011. The dynamic ocean biological pump: insights from a global compilation of Particulate Organic Carbon, CaCO3, and opal concentration profiles from the mesopelagic. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 25(3): GB3009, doi:10.1029/2010GB003868.

Lam, P. J. and J. K. B. Bishop. 2008. The continental margin is a key source of iron to the HNLC North Pacific Ocean, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L07608, doi:10.1029/2008GL033294.

Lam, P.J. and J.K.B. Bishop. 2007. High Biomass Low Export Regimes in the Southern Ocean. Deep Sea Research II: The Role of Marine Organic Carbon and Calcite Fluxes in Driving Climate Change, Past and Future, 54: 601-638, DOI: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2007.01.013.

Lam, P.J., J.K.B. Bishop, C.C. Henning, M.A. Marcus, G.A. Waychunas, I.Y. Fung. 2006.  Wintertime phytoplankton bloom in the Subarctic Pacific supported by continental margin iron. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 20(1), GB1006, DOI: 10.1029/2005GB002557.

Teaching Interests

OCEA-290A: Topics Chem Oceanog: The topic for Winter 2015 will be "Classic Papers in Chemical Oceanography". The syllabus/reading list is available HERE.

Courses Taught

OCEA 220

Advisees, Post Docs, Graduate Students, Researchers

Jong-Mi Lee831-459-4789Yang XiangKira Louise Mizell