The Aquatic Biogeochemistry and Plankton Ecology group is led by Dr. Joseph Needoba and Dr. Tawnya Peterson at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon. Our research program investigates the dynamics of nutrients and microbial communities in aquatic ecosystems. Our goal is to discover and characterize the drivers of natural fluctuations and human-induced changes in aquatic environments that define their quality and determine ecosystem health. We take an interdisciplinary approach that combines oceanographic methods with recent advances in molecular biology and in situ biogeochemical sensors.
There is an increasing appreciation for the role that environmental quality plays in issues related to human health and well-being. Poor environmental quality poses risks to humans and to ecosystems not only in the form of contaminant or disease exposure, but also in the form of reduced habitat quality and access to natural resources that can foment social inequalities. Recognizing the strong link between the environment and human health, OHSU is committed to advancing the synergy of environmental science and engineering with human health research. The OHSU Institute of Environmental Health encompasses research and educational programs originally established by the merger of OHSU with the Oregon Graduate Institute (OGI). The Aquatic Biogeochemistry and Plankton Ecology research group is one element of the multidisciplinary Division of Environmental and Biomolecular Systems, and we are affiliated with the Center for Coastal Margin Observation and Prediction.