Testing a Proxy of Historical Nutrient Status Using Diatom-Bound Nitrogen Isotopes

800 532 Stroud Water Research Center

Climate science relies on interpreting proxies of past environmental conditions in dated sediment and ice cores. Our study will develop a rapid approach to analyzing the stable isotopes of proteins within the glass shells produced by diatom algae, which is likely to be an improved proxy for historical nutrient status because of its uniform biological source. Although we will initially apply the results of our studies to studies of ocean sediments, the technique will be transferable to lakes, ponds and rivers.

Funded by: The American Chemical Society, Petroleum Research Fund

Principal Investigator: Anthony K. Aufdenkampe

Collaborator: Katarina Billups (University of Delaware)

Project Years: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012