Phoebe J. Lam

TitleAssociate Professor
DivisionPhysical & Biological Sciences
DepartmentOcean Sciences Department,
Institute of Marine Sciences
Phone831-459-4587 (office)
FAX831-459-4882 (department)
Web Site Lam Lab at UCSC
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

Associate Professor, Ocean Sciences, UCSC

Assistant Professor, Ocean Sciences, UCSC

Scientific Staff, Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, WHOI

Postdoctoral Scholar, Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, WHOI
Ph.D. Earth and Planetary Science, University of California, Berkeley
M.A. Geosciences, Princeton University
S.B. Environmental Engineering Science, MIT

Selected Publications

See google scholar for complete list of publications.

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
OCEA 121

Advisees, Post Docs, Graduate Students, Researchers

NameE-Mail AddressPhone Number
Jong-Mi Lee831-459-4789
Yang Xiang
Kira Louise Mizell
Vinicius Jose Amaral