The Ward Lab


Research in the Ward laboratory concerns the marine and global nitrogen cycle, using molecular biological investigations of marine bacteria and bacterial processes (especially nitrification and denitrification), and measuring the rates of N transformation processes using various isotope approaches. We have ongoing research in the following areas:

  • Nitrogen cycling (nitrification, denitrification, anammox, etc.) in several suboxic zones of the world ocean (Arabian Sea, Eastern Tropical North and South Pacific) and in Chesapeake Bay, Great Sippewissett Salt Marsh, etc.
  • Nitrogen assimilation by phytoplankton and functional diversity of eukaryotic phytoplankton in the world ocean
  • Diversity of functional guilds of bacteria involved in the nitrogen cycle of aquatic systems

Please contact us for more information and for queries about undergraduate, graduate and post doctoral research opportunities.

News - 2013

Phytoplankton utilization of nitrogen in the surface ocean
Bess Ward and her group from Princeton University, joined by Malcolm Woodward from the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, are embarked on a 25 day cruise in the subarctic North Atlantic as part of an NSF funded project “Dimensions of Biodiversity: Functional Diversity of Marine Eukaryotic Phytoplankton” (Ward and Sigman PIs).
The members of the five-week research cruise cast their final farewell
Geosciences chair Bess Ward, her research group, and other scientists on board the research vessel Nathaniel B. Palmer cast their final farewell blog. The research cruise was on a 5-week mission to measure various aspects of the nitrogen cycle off the coasts of Peru and Chile. Some crew members have unprecedentedly been able to remotely blog from the ship. They expected it to take over a year to compile and analyze all the data collected.