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 - 2015

Functional Diversity of Marine Eukaryotic Phytoplankton and Their Contributions to Carbon and Nitrogen Cycling
On two ~25 day long, trans-Atlantic cruises, members of the Ward Lab ventured to the subarctic ocean. In collaboration with the Sigman Lab (Princeton University) they studied the contribution of pico- to meso-sized plankton to the cycling of carbon and nitrogen. These late summer (2013) and spring (2014) subarctic North Atlantic cruises followed-up the cruises in the western subtropical gyre (Sargasso Sea) and provided the opportunity to compare the roles of plankton functional groups between tw