Adina Paytan

TitleResearch Scientist,
DivisionPhysical & Biological Sciences
DepartmentInstitute of Marine Sciences,
PBSci-Earth & Planetary Sciences Department,
PBSci-Ocean Sciences Department
AffiliationsPBSci-Microbiology & Environmental Toxicology Department,
Environmental Studies Department
Web Site Website
OfficeEarth and Marine Sciences C308
Campus Mail StopOcean Sciences
Adina Paytan

Research Interests

Dr. Paytan's research is focused on marine biogeochemical cycles and dynamics in the present and past, and on their connection to the Earth system as a whole. The overarching goal of her work is to investigate the relation between these cycles and global climate, tectonics, and environmental changes. To achieve this goal she use the chemical and isotopic record enclosed in seawater, fresh water, rocks and sediments, living and dead organisms, aerosols, gases, and other archives which record Earth processes at present and over time scales of centuries to many millions of years. In this research particular emphasis is given to the study of anthropogenically induced perturbations that effect aquatic biogeochemical processes such as methane emission from wetlands, trace metal recycling in sediments, aerosol chemical composition and coastal water pollution.

The field of biogeochemistry in general and marine biogeochemistry in particular is interdisciplinary; it requires understanding geological, chemical, physical and biological processes and the complex interaction among these processes. Such research problems are best addressed through multi-investigator interactions and collaborations. Accordingly, most of the research projects in Dr. Paytan's laboratory involve collaborations with a wide range of experts and incorporation of a diverse set of analytical tools and research approaches. These diverse approaches are needed to address the complexity of factors affecting the natural systems and thus bring insights to questions at the heart of Earth and environmental science, in order to better understand the complex functioning of our planet and promote environmental sustainability.

Dr. Paytan and her students are currently participating in several projects in Paleoceanography including reconstructing the seawater calcium isotopes and carbonate deposition history; reconstruction of seawater redox state using molybdenum (Mo) isotopes ratios; determining the responses and feedbacks between export production and the global C cycle; environmental reconstruction of the Perm-Triassic boundary; and, using isotopes to study the hydrologic variability - precipitation, river and groundwater discharge, and estuarine paleosalinity and their relation to climate in water stressed regions. We also have several projects in Environmental Chemistry including quantifying the impact of submarine groundwater discharge on coastal systems; understanding lakes eutrophication processes and tracing sources of pollution; and, the impact of ocean acidification on inter-tidal populations. Our Biogeochemical research projects include studying the P and N cycles in coastal environments and lakes using isotope tracers; evaluating the impact of atmospheric deposition on ecosystems and figuring out the nutrient stress and limitation of cyanobacteria in the Gulf of Aqaba.

Dr. Paytan is also dedicated to science education and outreach, she devotes time to develop and implement programs that enhance the process of learning science, expose students at all levels to the excitement of doing science, and introduce the relevance of science to real-world problems and current issues. Her instruction promotes active learning and includes innovative teaching.

Biography, Education and Training

B.S., Geology and Biology, Hebrew University, Jerusalem
M.S., Science Education, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot
M.S., Earth Sciences Oceanography, Hebrew University, Jerusalem
Ph.D., Oceanography, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Post Doctoral Research, University of California, San Diego

Selected Publications


Teaching Interests

Isotopes in Geological and Environmental Research, Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, Marine Chemistry, Communicating Science, The Ocean Around Us, How to Critically Read and Interpret Scientific Literature