Ken Buesseler

Marine Geochemist

Ken Buesseler, marine geochemist, is interested in quantifying a different end of the twilight zone’s unusual inhabitants than most of his teammates. Buesseler is tracking the sinking particles of organic carbon to determine how much is falling out of the surface photic zone into the twilight zone and passing through to the deep ocean where the carbon is considered “buried.”  As the rest of the OTZ team uses new robots to further their understanding of the living twilight ecosystem, Buesseler is using a newly developed autonomous particle trap with imaging technology, called MINION, that should greatly enhance our understanding of the twilight zone’s role in the biological carbon pump and global climate.

Research Interests

  • Upper-ocean biogeochemical cycles and POC export fluxes.
  • Studies of scavenging and particle cycling processes using man-made and naturally occurring radionuclides.
  • Geochemical studies of the Black Sea using Chernobyl radiotracers.
  • Plutonium isotopes and the behavior of fallout Pu in seawater and groundwater.
  • Use of radium isotopes and other tracers of submarine groundwater discharge.