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School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment

Our People

Below is a list of the Core Faculty within the School of the Earth, Ocean & Environment.  Please use the navigation on the left menu to see a complete directory of faculty, staff and advisors associated with the School.  Click the following for a PDF of our directory.

CORE FACULTY

David Barbeau

David Barbeau

Clastic sedimentology, tectonics and sedimentation, basin analysis, thermochronology, sediment provenance, and tectonics of the southern Andes and Antarctica.

Jessica Barnes

Jessica Barnes

Dr. Barnes received her Ph.D. in sustainable development from Columbia University in 2010 and held a postdoctoral fellowship with the Yale Climate & Energy Institute and Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies from 2011 to 2013. She joined the University of South Carolina in 2013 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography with a joint appointment in the School of the Earth, Ocean & Environment .

Monica Barra

Monica Barra

 Monica Barra completed her Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from the Graduate Center at the City University of New York in 2018. Additionally, she holds a masters degree in American Studies from Rutgers University and a bachelors degree in Urban Studies and Literature from the Johnston Center for Integrative Studies at the University of Redlands. 

Claudia Benitez-Nelson

Claudia Benitez-Nelson

Biogeochemical cycling and export fluxes of nutrients. Global climate change in past and present day environments. Utilization of cosmogenic and uranium series radioisotopes to study ecological processes. Development of new analytical techniques.

Ronald Benner

Ronald Benner

My research focuses on the carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous cycles in aquatic environments, from wetlands to the open ocean. Experimental approaches are used to characterize biogeochemical processes and the roles of microorganisms as key players in the production and transformation of organic matter. Geochemical approaches are used to integrate processes over space and time.

Michael Bizimis

Michael Bizimis

Radiogenic isotope (Hf, Nd, Sr, Pb, Os) and trace element geochemistry, Igneous Petrology, in their broadest sense. Geochemical evolution of the Terrestrial mantle.  Mantle plume dynamics, plume-lithosphere interaction, and the origin of Ocean Island volcanism. Water and the fate of volatiles in the mantle. Element fluxes in subduction zones. Elemental exchange between seawater and mantle lithosphere in hydrothermal systems. Hg-isotopes as a tracer of Hg cycling in the environment. Elemental fluxes in salt marshes and coastal environments.

Carol

Carol Boggs

 We focus on evolutionary, functional and behavioral ecology, with applications to conservation and environmental issues. The major question is how environmental change and variation affect life history traits, population structure and dynamics, and species interactions over ecological and evolutionary time. Environments vary on multiple spatial and temporal scales. Additionally, both the abiotic and biotic components of the environment may vary, for example in cases of species' invasions.

Annie Bourbonnais

Annie Bourbonnais

Marine biogeochemistry, Marine nitrogen cycle, Nitrogen and carbon stable isotopes, Molecular microbial ecology, Dissolved gases (N 2 , O 2 , Ar) as tracers of oceanic physical and biological processes, Trace gas production (N 2 O) in marine environments, Chemosynthetic deep-sea ecosystems, Oxygen minimum zones.

Subrahmanyam

Subrahmanyam Bulusu

 My research is in Remote Sensing, Satellite Oceanography, Physical Oceanography and Air-Sea Interaction. My research has focused on the use of Satellite Remote Sensing for studying ocean circulation utilizing both active microwave sensors (altimeters, scatterometers, imagers) and passive optical sensors (ocean color and sea-surface-temperature), as well as in the combination of passive/active (radiometer/radar) instruments.

Besim Dragovic

Besim Dragovic

timescales of convergent tectonics; fluid-rock interaction in the crust/mantle; metamorphic petrology; high-temperature radiogenic and stable isotope geochemistry

David Fuente

David Fuente

 Dr. Fuente's research is situated at the intersection of infrastructure planning, environmental policy, and international development and focuses specifically on the provision of water and sanitaiton services in low- and middle-income countries. Trained as an environmental economist, urban planner, and environmental scientist, Dr. Fuente has conducted extensive fieldwork in East Africa (Kenya), the Middle East (Egypt), and South Asia (India). His research has been supported by the World Bank, USAID, the SIDA-funded Environment for Development Initiative, and the Global Development Network.

Gwendelyn Geidel

Gwendelyn Geidel

Prediction, prevention and remediation of ground and surface water contamination caused by mining and other anthropogenic disturbances of the earth’s surface. Examples include investigations of rock-water interactions from mining activities (including both coal and metal mining in the US and Canada), the degradation of water quality from the oxidation of sulfide minerals, laboratory evaluation of acid and alkaline potentials from rock strata, field investigations of the long term effects of mining, and the implementation at field sites of constructed wetlands, anoxic limestone drains, alkaline trenches and other remediation and reclamation technologies.

Dean Hardy

Dean Hardy

Dean holds his Ph.D. in Integrative Conservation and Geography, M.S. in Ecology, and B.S. in Marine Sciences. As a broadly trained geographer, he applies an integrative approach to work across multiple ways of knowing socio-environmental challenges. He draws on political ecology, hazards geography, environmental justice studies, and critical race theory to examine landscapes as socio-natural assemblages.

Conor M. Harrison

Conor M. Harrison

Dr. Harrison’s research examines the relationship between energy and society, with a particular focus on political economy and power relations.  Portions of his work have been published in the Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Geoforum, and Local Environment. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Center for Study of the American South, and the University of North Carolina.

W. Joe Jones

W. Joe Jones

Past Director of the UofSC Genomics facility, Joe Jones's research has focused on conservation genetics, genetic connectivity, and genetics of rare populations (especially in fish and plankton); molecular phylogenetics and ecology, microbial ecology, natural history, and technology development. As the Faculty Principal of Green Quad, his most recent work connects this expertise to undergraduate and graduate hands-on learning experiences in aquaponics and heritage landrace propagation.

Matthew E. Kimball

Matthew E. Kimball

My general research interests are in marine ecology, particularly the influence of biological and physical factors on the community dynamics of coastal fauna and flora. I am especially interested in the influence of such factors on the distribution and movement of juvenile and adult stages of estuarine and coastal fishes and invertebrates, as well as the effects of habitat on the survival and growth of these organisms. I have pursued these interests through research efforts, often combining field and laboratory approaches, in a wide range of estuarine systems and the coastal ocean along the US Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

David Kneas

David Kneas

David’s research examines the history and contemporary articulations of Andean landscapes, in particular, how past discursive landscapes shape the material geographies of the present, and vice-versa. His current book project is a historical ethnography of an ongoing conflict over a proposed copper mining in northwestern Ecuador. This project draws on his doctoral dissertation, research that combined two years of two ethnographic fieldwork and archival research in Ecuador with David’s own experience of working in the country since 2000, as well as archival research in the US and the UK.

Susan Lang

Susan Lang

Aqueous biogeochemistry; water-rock-microbe interactions, particularly in hydrothermal and subsurface systems; stable (13C, 15N, 34S) and radiocarbon (14C) isotopes of organic molecules; serpentinization as a source of energy for microbes and the abiotic synthesis of organic molecules; past, present, and future cycling of carbon and nitrogen through the environment.

Andrew Leier

Andrew Leier

Clastic sedimentology, stratigraphy, sediment provenance, basin analysis, tectonics and sedimentation, stable isotopes, paleoelevation, paleoclimate, petroleum geology, reservoir architecture and characterization.

Thomas Lekan

Thomas Lekan

Professor Lekan teaches specialized undergraduate courses and seminars on environmental history, the urban experience in modern Europe, and German social history. His research focuses on European environmental history and the global dimensions of nature conservation, ecotourism, and green imperialism; comparative urban and regional planning history; and the environmental humanities.  

Thomas Owens

Thomas Owens

The collection and analysis of seismological data in order to better understand the structure and evolution of the continental lithosphere; K-12 Science Education, in particular the use of seismological data, especially real-time data, to help get students interested in science

James Pinckney

James Pinckney

I'm a marine ecologist who studies how marine ecosystems work, especially in terms of how they process energy derived from microscopic plants (phytoplankton and microalgae). Most of my work is conducted in estuarine and coastal waters, including the Gulf of Mexico, San Salvador Island in the Bahamas, North Inlet Estuary on the South Carolina coast, and Galveston Bay, Texas.

Dwayne

Dwayne Porter

 Dr. Porter’s research interests include exploring and expanding the increasingly important roles that technology and technological innovations play in monitoring, assessing, modeling and managing our coastal environmental resources and associated environmental and public health issues. Dr. Porter focuses on the use of the tools of Geographic Information Sciences (GISciences) to develop and apply spatial models to study the impacts of anthropogenic and physiographic influences to coastal resources. 

Jennifer

Jennifer R. Pournelle

 Millennial-scale urban sustainability and complex societies, studied through: landscape archaeology, anthropological archaeology, archaeology of the Middle East, cultural ecology, historical ecology, as they relate to wetland environments. Interpreting and relating air photography and satellite imagery to other paleoenvironmental data, toward reconstructing past landscapes.

Joe Quattro

Joe Quattro

Marine Population Genetics

Tammi Richardson

Tammi Richardson

I study phytoplankton...the microscopic algae that give the ocean its greenish color and that photosynthesize, removing CO2 from the atmosphere. Specifically I'm interested in how light, nutrients, and temperature influence phytoplankton growth and taxonomic composition, including the development of "red tides" (harmful algal blooms).

Katherine Ryker

Katherine Ryker

 Dr. Ryker explores connections between reformed classroom practices, student learning, teaching beliefs and the implementation of inquiry-based labs in introductory geoscience lectures and labs. Her research interests also include online educational resources, professional development, and student learning strategies and engagement in large introductory courses. She is part of a team looking at the connection

Howie Scher

Howie Scher

Cenozoic ocean history , Role of the ocean during abrupt climate events, Changes in seawater chemistry, Evolution of the Southern Ocean and Antarctic cryosphere, Spatial and temporal variations in the distribution of seawater trace elements and isotopes (TEI’s), Developing and calibrating proxies for paleoceanography.

Erik Smith

Erik Smith

Estuarine ecology, aquatic microbial ecology, carbon and nutrient biogeochemistry, terrestrialaquatic coupling in the coastal zone, eutrophication, environmental monitoring and assessment of coastal ecosystems 

Ray Torres

Ray Torres

Field and lab work designed to investigate processes that control the production, transport, and storage of water and sediment in terrestrial and intertidal landscapes. Funded research projects are on intertidal zone hydrology and geomorphology, near-surface saturated and unsaturated zone hydrology, and watershed management  

George

George Voulgaris

Shoreline evolution; nearshore and beach processes; surf-zone and continental shelf sediment transport; wave-current interaction; sediment re-suspension; hydrodynamic and turbulence measurements in the field and laboratory; time-series analysis; tidal propagation in estuaries and lagoons; numerical model applications to coastal zone; operational oceanography; HFR Surface Radar measurements.

Scott White

Scott White

Most of the Earth's surface is hidden underwater, from the deep seafloor to wetland environments. Revealing the patterns and processes in these marine environments is the overarching theme of Scott's research group in marine geology and geophysics.

Alicia Wilson

Alicia Wilson

My research is in the field of hydrogeology, from the role of groundwater in coastal ecohydrology to the origin and evolution of porewaters in large sedimentary basins. A particular focus right now is submarine groundwater discharge (SGD), which discharges nutrients and other solutes to coastal systems ranging from tidal creeks to the continental shelf.

Neal Woods

Neal Woods

Public policy (environmental policy, regulation), bureaucratic politics, federalism and intergovernmental relations

Alexander

Alexander Yankovsky

My primary research interests are focused on the flow dynamics on continental shelves, in marginal seas and in estuaries. This includes wind- and buoyancy-driven currents, transient and time-variable processes, long waves and wave-current interaction, mesoscale variability, and adjustment of waves and currents to topographic and coastline features. My research comprises numerical modeling and the analysis of observational data.

Gene Yogodzinski

Gene Yogodzinski

Associate Professor, SEOE. My research combines geological field work with geochemical studies that focus primarily on the use of trace element and isotope geochemistry to understand igneous processes. I am particularly interested in understanding how the geochemistry of subduction-related magma is controlled by tectonics in different subduction settings.

Lori Ziolkowski

Lori Ziolkowski

Bioavailability of Arctic soils, Biogeochemistry of darkening glacier surfaces, Environmental controls of hydrocarbon degradation

 

  

 

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