Adina Paytan ~ Multi-Scale Mentor

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The Big Picture

Dr. Adina Paytan is a Research Scientist at the University of California, Santa Cruz. The Paytan Biogeochemistry Lab is a part of the Institute of Marine Science and the Departments of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Ocean Sciences. Her group's primary research interests lie in the fields of biogeochemistry, chemical oceanography and paleoceanography, with a particular interest in phosphorus sources and cycling. Using chemical and isotopic tracers in diverse environmental samples, such as water, sediments, aerosol, and vegetation, they study present and past biogeochemical processes on a wide range of temporal and spatial scales. An over-arching goal is to link the observed trends to global changes in climate and tectonics, with an emphasis on human impacts.

Much of Adina's research happens through her efforts to mentor young scientists. While she continually supervises their work, letting students take ownership of their research frames and expands her research efforts. Adina and her students are currently participating in numerous projects all over the world, taking place on several continents. Closer to home, Adina has been using Monterey Bay and Elkhorn Slough as field sites for the past eight years, sites where her lab can conduct research on ways of transport of materials from land to ocean – via river discharge, groundwater, and atmospheric deposition.

"I'm curious to know and understand how the Earth around me operates and how people impact it," says Adina. "I’m mostly interested in the big picture, how different components of the planet – the air, the ocean, the earth, the organisms, the physics, the chemistry, everything together- the interactions and what are the feedbacks between these components."

Adina's Research