Welcome to the Trace Metal Group at Princeton University

Many elements present at low concentrations in aquatic systems are toxic pollutants, several are essential elements for life, and some are both. The Trace Metal Group aims to understand the chemical and biological processes that control the transformations, ecological effects, and cycling of trace metals in the environment.

Our group includes chemists, microbiologists, oceanographers and environmental scientists whose interests extends from the enzymatic functions of metals to their role in the global cycles of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus.

We welcome applications from interested graduate students and postdoctoral researchers.

François M.M.Morel

Professor of Geosciences, Emeritus

Xinning Zhang

Assistant Professor

Darcy McRose

Former Postdoctoral Research Associate

Anne Morel-Kraepiel

Research Scholar, Lecturer

Romain Darnajoux

Former Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Eva Groves

Administrative Assistant, Retired 2024

Oliver Baars

Assistant Professor at North Carolina State University

Katja E. Luxem

Former Graduate Student

Former Students and Postdoctoral Associates

Darcy McRose (Ph.D., 2018) Trace Metal Uptake and Use in Soil Diazotrophs and Marine Vibrios: Alternative Nitrogenases, Siderophores, and Quorum Sensing OR Efforts of the Very Small to Acquire the Very Scarce.
Postdoc, Princeton University

Oliver Baars- (Postdoc 2011-2014, Associate Research Scholar 2014-2017)
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Plant Pathology
North Carolina State University

Johanna A. L. Goldman (Ph.D., 2016) Environmental Factors Influencing Phytoplankton Productivity in the Context of Climate Change
Postdoc, School of Oceanography
University of Washington

Xinning Zhang (Postdoc 2011-2014, Associate Research Scholar 2014-2017)
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Geosciences and Princeton Environmental Institute
Princeton University

Romain Darnajoux - (Postdoc 2016-2017)
Postdoc Zhang Lab,Geosciences
Princeton University

Jodi N. Young - (Postdoc 2011-2015)
Assistant Professor, School of Oceanography
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-7940

Ja-Myung Kim - (Postdoc 2011-2014)
Assistant Professor, POSTECH
Pohang University of Science and Technology

Sven Kranz - (Postdoc 2011-2014)
Assistant Professor; Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Science
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL  32306-4520

Jeffra Schaefer (Postdoc 2005-2008, Associate Research Scholar 2008-2013)
Assistant Research Professor, SEBS Environmental Science
Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

Jenna Losh - (Ph.D., 2013) The Response of Nitrogen-Limited Marine Phytoplankton to Increasing Carbon Dioxide
Program Manager, GLISA
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Yan Xu -  (Ph.D., 2008) Novel Metalloenzymes in Marine Phytoplankton: A Link Between Trace Elements and Macronutrients in the Oceans 
Associate Research Scholar (2008-2012), Princeton Unversity
Research Associate, Stanford University

Dalin Shi - (Ph.D., 2011)
Effects of Ocean Acidification on Iron Availability and Requirements in Marine Phytoplankton
Chair Professor, College of the Environment and Ecology
Xiamen University, PR China

Frank Black - (Postdoc 2009-2011)
Associate Professor, Chemistry
Westminster College, Salt Lake City, UT

Sara (Sally) Rocks- (Postdoc 2009-2010)
Research Chemist, Research and Development
FLSmidth, Salt Lake City, Utah

Brian Hopkinson - (Postdoc 2008-2010)
Associate Professor, Dept. of Marine Sciences
University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Jean-Philippe Bellenger - (Postdoc 2005-2010)
Associate Professor, Dept. of Chemistry
Université de Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada

Ludmilla Aristilde - (Postdoc 2009-2010)
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Biological and Environmental Engineering
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Thomas Wichard - (Postdoc 2006-2008)
Research Group Leader, Jena School of Microbial Communication
Institute of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry
Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany

Patrick McGinn - (Postdoc 2005-2008)
Microalgae Research Officer, Institute for Marine Biosciences
National Research Council of Canada

Eric Egleston - ( Ph.D., 2008) Biological, Chemical, and Policy Aspects of the Relationship between Productivity and the Ocean Carbon Cycle

Haewon Park - ( Ph.D., 2008) Cadmium Carbonic Anhydrase of Marine Diatoms: Diversity and Expression

Adam Kustka - (Postdoc 2002-2006)
Associate Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Rutgers University - Newark, NJ

Madeli Castruita - ( Ph.D., 2006) Ferritin in phytoplankton
Postdoc, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of California, Los Angeles, CA

Eileen Ekstrom - (Ph.D., 2007) Investigations Into The Mechanisms of Biotic and Abiotic Mercury Methylation
Ecosystem Analytics, Cambridge, MA

Yeala Shaked - (Postdoc 2002-2005)
Lecturer, Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences at Eilat
Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel

Degui Tang - (Postdoc 2003-2005)
Sr. Research Scientist, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals
Groton, CT

Elizabeth G. Malcolm (Postdoc 2002-2004)
Professor, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Science
Virginia Wesleyan College, VA

Allen J. Milligan (Postdoc 1999-2003)
Associate Professor, (Senior Research), Department of Botany and Plant Pathology
Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Tung-Yuan Ho (Postdoc 2000-2003) 
Associate Research Fellow, Research Center for Environmental Changes
Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan

Anne Kraepiel (Ph.D., 2001) Biogeochemistry of Trace Metals: Mechanisms of Metal Partitioning in Aquatic Systems
Research Scholar, Department of Chemistry
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

Mak Saito (Postdoc 2001-2003)
Associate Scientist w/ tenure, Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA

Phoebe Lam (MA Geosciences,  2001)
Assistant Professor, Institute of Marine Sciences
University of California Santa Cruz

Philippe Tortell (Ph.D., 2001) Evolutionary and Ecological perspectives on carbon acquisition in phytoplankton
Professor, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
University of British Columbia, Canada

Jani Benoit (Postdoc 2000-2001)
Professor and Chair, Chemistry Department
Wheaton College

Klaus Keller (Ph.D., 2000) Trace metal.carbon interactions in marine phytoplankton: Implications on the cellular, regional, and global scale 
Professor, Department of Geosciences
Pennsylvania State University, PA

Todd W. Lane (Postdoc 1990)
Research Scientist 
Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA

Jenny Jay (Ph.D., 1999) Role of elemental sulfur in mercury methylation by Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ND132
Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California, Los Angeles,  CA

Janet L. Huie - (Postdoc 1998-1999)
Chief Scientific Officer, Jan Biotech, Inc., Ithaca NY

Dianne K. Newman (Ph.D., 1997) Microbial Respiration and Precipitation of Arsenic
Gordon M. Binder/Amgen Professor of Biology and Geobiology
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena CA

James Gawel (Ph.D., 1996) Phytochelatins: Biomonitors for Metal Stress in Terrestial Plants
Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences
University of Washington at Tacoma, WA

Donald Yee (Ph.D., 1996)  Cobalt Substitution for Zinc in Marine Phytoplankton
Environmental Scientist
San Francisco Estuary Institute, CA

Dianne (Rempel) Ahmann (Ph.D., 1996) Dissimilatory Arsenic Reduction in a Freshwater Sediment Microorganism
Assistant Professor, University of Oregon

John Reinfelder (Postdoc., 1992-1996) 
Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ

Jennifer G. Lee (Ph.D., 1995) Cadmium: A Toxin and a Nutrient for Marine Phytoplankton
Science Writer/Editor
The Scientific Consulting Group, Inc., Gaithersburg, MD

Bettina (Bartschat) Vöelker (Ph.D., 1994 Zurich) 
Professor, Department of Chemistry and Geochemistry
Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO

Beth A. Ahner (Ph.D., 1994) Phytoplankton Phytochelatin: A Biological Indicator of Metal Stress
Professor and Chair, Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Sarah Green (Ph.D., 1992) Applications of Fluorescence Spectroscopy to Environmental Chemistry
Professor and Chair: Department of Chemistry
Michigan Tech, MI

Robert Mason (Postdoc 1992)
Professor, Marine Sciences and Chemistry
University of Connecticut

Neil M. Price (Postdoc., 1987-1991) 
Professor,  Department of Biology
McGill University, Montreal, Canada

Brian Palenik (Ph.D., 1989) Cell Surface Redox Activities of Marine Phytoplankton
Professor of Marine Biology, MBRD
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Univ. Of California, San Diego, CA

Robert Hudson (Ph.D., 1989) The Chemical Kinetics of Iron Uptake by Marine Phytoplankton
Associate Professor, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL

Janet Hering (Ph.D., 1988) The Kinetics and Thermodynamics of Copper Complexation in Aquatic Systems
Professor of Environmental Biogeochemistry, ETH, Zurich
Professor of Environmental Chemistry, ETA, Lausanne
Director, EAWAG

Gary Jones (Postdoc 1986-1988) 
Chief Executive, eWater CRC
Professor, University of Canberra

Pascale Nirel (Postdoc1987-1989)

Anne E. Carey (Ph.D., 1986) Thorium Adsorption onto Marine Particles
Professor, School of Earth Sciences
The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

David Dzombak (Ph.D., 1986) Toward a Uniform Model for the Sorption of Inorganic Ions on Hydrous Oxides
University Professor, Department of Civil and Civil & Environmental Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

Kevin J. Farley (Ph.D., 1984) Sorption and Sedimentation as Mechanisms of Trace Metal Removal
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Manhattan College, NYC, NY

William Fish (Ph.D., 1984) Modeling the Interactions of Trace Metals and Aquatic Humic Materials
Associate Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Portland State University, Portland, OR

T. David Waite (Ph.D., 1984) Photoredox Properties of Iron in Natural Waters
Scientia Professor and Chairman, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Carl Watras (Postdoc., 1981-1983) 
Senior Research Scientist, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Research Fellow Center for Limnology
University of Wisconsin, Boulder Junction, WI 

Patricia Foster (Postdoc 1978-1980) 
Professor Emeritus of Biology
Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

John Rueter (Ph.D., 1979) The Effects of Copper and Zinc on Growth Rate and Nutrient Uptake in the Marine Diatom Thalassiosira Pseudonana
Professor of Biology and Director of Environmental Sciences Program
Portland State University, OR

Donald Anderson (Ph.D., 1978) Effects of cupric ion activity on Gonyaulax tamarensis, New England red tide organism
Senior Scientist, Department of Biology
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA

Michael Anderson (Postdoc 1978)
President,TLI Solutions
Golden, Colorado

Diane M. McKnight (Ph.D., 1979) Interactions between Freshwater Plankton and Copper Speciation
Professor, Civil, Environmental  and Architectural Engineering
Fellow, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research
University of Colorado, Boulder, CO

Joseph Yeasted (Ph.D., 1978) The Modeling of Lake Response to Phosphorus Loadings: Empirical, Chemical, and Hydrodynamic Aspects
Director of Major Projects, International Technology Corp., Las Vegas, NV

David Burmaster (Ph.D., 1978) Steady and Unsteady Continuous Culture of Monochrysis lutheri under phosphate limitation
President, Alceon Corporation, Cambridge, MA

Kathleen Swallow (Ph.D., 1978) Adsorption of Trace Metals by Hydrous Ferric Oxide in Seawater
Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemistry
Merrimack College, North Andover, MA

John C. Westall (Ph.D., 1978) Chemical Methods for the Study of Metal-Ligand Interactions in Aquatic Environments
Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemistry
Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Harry F. Hemond (Ph.D., 1977) Biogeochemistry of a New England Sphagnum Bog
Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Director, Parsons Laboratory
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

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The Trace Metal Group is a research lab within the Department of Geosciences at Princeton University.  The Geosciences Department, together with its affiliated inter-departmental programs and institutes, serves as the central focus for the Earth, atmospheric, oceanographic, and environmental sciences at Princeton.