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Current research investigates metal uptake by diatoms in the Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean.
In the past the Ingall lab traveled on the Swedish Icebreaker, Oden to the Antarctic. On this trip we collected and processed samples taken from the Ross and Amundsen seas for our studies of phosphorus and metal cycling. In addition to our research we also had the opportunity to view spectacular Antarctic wildlife including penguins, whales and seals.
Aerosol chemistry studies employ state of the art, synchrotron based x-ray microscopy and spectroscopy to examine delivery of key nutrients phosphorus and iron to the ocean. Also we have engaged in numerous studies of various elements in aerosol from urban and rural terrestrial settings.
In our ongoing explorations of phosphorus cycling, the Ingall lab group has collected samples on numerous research cruises in waters near Vancouver Canada, Brazil, Cape Verde Islands, Hawaii, North Carolina, Georgia, Peru, Louisiana and Bermuda. Among our many discoveries we have found that dissolved organic phosphorus in the ocean is enriched in unusual compounds called phosphonates (Clark, Ingall and Benner, Nature 1988). We have also recently shown that marine polyphosphates are key players in geologic phosphorus sequestration (Diaz, Ingall and others, Science 2008).
In order to investigate the composition of dissolved organic matter in seawater, most analytical techniques required removal of salt. We have developed techniques to desalt seawater while recovering 70% of the original dissolved organic matter.