• Biological processes are major drivers of the ocean’s carbon cycle as primary producers in the surface ocean convert inorganic carbon into organic matter, fueling secondary consumers within microbial food webs. A major focus of my research is to understand variations in microbial activities among microenvironments that act as activity hotspots in the water such as millimeter sized organic matter aggregates, known as marine snow.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title
    2020 Substantial Carbohydrate Hydrolase Activities in the Water Column of the Guaymas Basin (Gulf of California)Frontiers in Marine Science.  6:815. 2020
    2019 Linking chromophoric organic matter transformation with biomarker indices in a marine phytoplankton growth and degradation experimentMarine Chemistry.  214:103665-103665. 2019
    2019 Polysaccharide hydrolysis in the presence of oil and dispersants: Insights into potential degradation pathways of exopolymeric substances (EPS) from oil-degrading bacteriaElementa.  7:31. 2019
    2019 Gulf Stream Ring Water Intrusion on the Mid-Atlantic Bight Continental Shelf Break Affects Microbially Driven Carbon CyclingFrontiers in Marine Science.  6:394. 2019
    2019 Enhanced formation of transparent exopolymer particles (TEP) under turbulence during phytoplankton growthJournal of Plankton Research.  41:349-361. 2019
    2019 Vertical marine snow distribution in the stratified, hypersaline, and anoxic Orca Basin (Gulf of Mexico)Elementa.  7:10. 2019
    2019 Community structural differences shape microbial responses to high molecular weight organic matter.Environmental Microbiology.  21:557-571. 2019
    2018 Formation of Chromophoric Dissolved Organic Matter by Bacterial Degradation of Phytoplankton-Derived AggregatesFrontiers in Marine Science.  4:430. 2018
    2018 Editorial: Microbial Exopolymers: Sources, Chemico-Physiological Properties, and Ecosystem Effects in the Marine Environment.Frontiers in Microbiology.  9:1822. 2018
    2017 Ephemeral aggregate layers in the water column leave lasting footprints in the carbon cycleLIMNOLOGY AND OCEANOGRAPHY LETTERS.  2:202-209. 2017
    2017 Near-surface Heating of Young Rift Sediment Causes Mass Production and Discharge of Reactive Dissolved Organic Matter.Scientific Reports.  7:44864. 2017
    2017 A Multi-season Investigation of Microbial Extracellular Enzyme Activities in Two Temperate Coastal North Carolina Rivers: Evidence of Spatial but Not Seasonal Patterns.Frontiers in Microbiology.  8:2589. 2017
    2016 Marine Snow Sedimented Oil Released During the Deepwater Horizon SpillOceanography.  29:118-125. 2016
    2016 Enhanced particle fluxes and heterotrophic bacterial activities in Gulf of Mexico bottom waters following storm-induced sediment resuspensionDeep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography.  129:77-88. 2016
    2016 Enhanced protein and carbohydrate hydrolyses in plume-associated deepwaters initially sampled during the early stages of the Deepwater Horizon oil spillDeep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography.  129:368-373. 2016
    2016 Microbial enzymatic activity and secondary production in sediments affected by the sedimentation pulse following the Deepwater Horizon oil spillDeep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography.  129:241-248. 2016
    2016 Oil-derived marine aggregates - hot spots of polysaccharide degradation by specialized bacterial communitiesDeep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography.  129:179-186. 2016
    2016 Reply to Prince et al.: Ability of chemical dispersants to reduce oil spill impacts remains unclear.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.  113:E1422-E1423. 2016
    2016 Linking Heterotrophic Microbial Activities with Particle Characteristics in Waters of the Mississippi River Delta in the Aftermath of Hurricane IsaacFrontiers in Marine Science.  3:8. 2016
    2015 Microbial activities and organic matter degradation at three sites in the coastal North Atlantic: Variations in DOC turnover times and potential for export off the shelfMarine Chemistry.  177:388-397. 2015
    2015 Chemical dispersants can suppress the activity of natural oil-degrading microorganisms.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.  112:14900-14905. 2015
    2015 Delayed settling of marine snow: Effects of density gradient and particle properties and implications for carbon cyclingMarine Chemistry.  175:28-38. 2015
    2014 Composition and enzymatic function of particle-associated and free-living bacteria: a coastal/offshore comparison.ISME Journal.  8:2167-2179. 2014
    2014 Verrucomicrobia are candidates for polysaccharide-degrading bacterioplankton in an arctic fjord of Svalbard.Applied and Environmental Microbiology.  80:3749-3756. 2014
    2014 Optical and chemical characterization of base-extracted particulate organic matter in coastal marine environmentsMarine Chemistry.  162:96-113. 2014
    2014 Differences in the substrate spectrum of extracellular enzymes in shallow lakes of differing trophic statusBiogeochemistry.  117:143-151. 2014
    2014 Natural oil slicks fuel surface water microbial activities in the northern Gulf of Mexico.Frontiers in Microbiology.  5:188. 2014
    2013 Delayed settling of marine snow at sharp density transitions driven by fluid entrainment and diffusion-limited retentionMarine Ecology - Progress Series.  487:185-200. 2013
    2012 Functional variation among polysaccharide-hydrolyzing microbial communities in the Gulf of MexicoMarine Chemistry.  138:13-20. 2012
    2012 Comment on the review by German et al. (2011) "Optimization of hydrolytic and oxidative enzyme methods for ecosystem studies" [Soil Biology & Biochemistry 43: 1387-1397]Soil Biology and Biochemistry.  48:196-197. 2012
    2012 Capturing single cell genomes of active polysaccharide degraders: an unexpected contribution of Verrucomicrobia.PLoS ONE.  7:e35314. 2012
    2012 Marine snow formation in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of MexicoEnvironmental Research Letters.  7:035301-035301. 2012
    2012 Microbial activities and dissolved organic matter dynamics in oil-contaminated surface seawater from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill site.PLoS ONE.  7:e34816. 2012
    2011 Microbial community composition and function in permanently cold seawater and sediments from an arctic fjord of svalbard.Applied and Environmental Microbiology.  77:2008-2018. 2011
    2011 Latitudinal gradients in degradation of marine dissolved organic carbon.PLoS ONE.  6:e28900. 2011
    2010 Changes in the spectrum and rates of extracellular enzyme activities in seawater following aggregate formationBiogeosciences.  7:1007-1015. 2010
    2009 Enzyme activities in the Delaware Estuary affected by elevated suspended sediment load (vol 84, pg 253, 2009)Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science.  85:671-671. 2009
    2009 Enzyme activities in the Delaware Estuary affected by elevated suspended sediment loadEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science.  84:253-258. 2009
    2009 Enzyme activities in the water column and in shallow permeable sediments from the northeastern Gulf of MexicoEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science.  84:202-208. 2009
    2009 Thorium-234 derived information on particle residence times and sediment deposition in shallow waters of the south-western Baltic SeaJournal of Marine Systems.  75:360-370. 2009
    2008 Polysaccharide hydrolysis in aggregates and free enzyme activity in aggregate-free seawater from the north-eastern Gulf of Mexico.Environmental Microbiology.  10:289-299. 2008
    2007 Surface associations of enzymes and of organic matter: Consequences for hydrolytic activity and organic matter remineralization in marine systemsMarine Chemistry.  104:241-252. 2007
    2005 Aggregation and sinking behaviour of resuspended fluffy layer materialContinental Shelf Research.  25:1853-1863. 2005
    2003 Sedimentological parameters and erosion behaviour of submarine coastal sediments in the south-western Baltic SeaGeo-Marine Letters.  23:43-52. 2003
    2000 Vertical patterns of suspended matter characteristics along a coastal-basin transect in the western Baltic SeaEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science.  51:789-804. 2000

    Conference Paper

    Year Title
    2010 Comparison of multivariate microbial datasets with the Shannon index: An example using enzyme activity from diverse marine environmentsOrganic Geochemistry. 1019-1021. 2010
    2010 Organic matter degradation and nutrient remobilization in permeable coastal sandsGeochmica et Cosmochimica Acta. A435-A435. 2010
    2006 Do benthic diatoms influence erosion thresholds of coastal subtidal sediments?Netherlands Journal of Sea Research Journal of Sea Research. 43-53. 2006

    Teaching Activities

  • Top/Marine Microbes Taught course 2019
  • Education And Training

    Full Name

  • Kai Ziervogel