Maureen is a biogeochemist whose multi-disciplinary research utilizes a variety of organic and elemental geochemical and isotopic techniques to better understand both oceanic and terrestrial carbon cycle processes. Maureen in the Principal Investigator of the Oceanic Flux Program, a four-decade long time-series of the deep ocean particle flux, a key process that regulates many aspects of ocean biology, nutrient and elemental distributions as well as the ocean’s ability to take up anthropogenic carbon dioxide. Maureen also has research interests in biogenic aerosols and atmospheric transport, plant wax biomarkers, and the development of molecular and isotopic proxies for paleoclimate reconstruction.

In addition to her role* at BIOS, Maureen is a resident MBL Fellow at the Ecosystems Center, Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, where her lab group is located. Maureen received her PhD in Geology from Columbia University in 1989 where she investigated the biogeochemistry of particulate lipids in warm-core Gulf Stream ring systems.  Prior to joining BIOS in 2004, Maureen was a postdoc and then fellow in the Biogeochemistry Research Centre and School of Chemistry at the University of Bristol, UK and a research scientist in the Chemistry Department at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Research Interests:
deep ocean particle flux and linkages with upper ocean physics/biology and climate forcing; the use of organic and inorganic elemental tracers to elucidate fundamental processes controlling flux generation and attenuation within the ocean interior on time scales of days to decades; trace level molecular and isotopic organic geochemistry; use of plant waxes in biogenic aerosols to probe terrestrial biosphere functioning; application of molecular and isotopic proxies in paleocean and paleoclimate reconstructions.

Educational Background:
Columbia University, New York, NY, 1989
-PhD in Geology
Columbia University, New York, NY, 1987
-MPhil in Geology
Columbia University, New York, NY, 1982
-MA in Geology
The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 1975
-BA in Geography and Environmental Engineering

Further Information:
Oceanic Flux Program
Conte Research Group

Selected Publications:
Timko. S. A., Maydanov A., Pittelli S. L, Conte M. H., Cooper W. J., Koch B. P, Schmitt-Kopplin P., Gonsior M.  (2015) Depth-dependent Photodegradation of Marine Dissolved Organic Matter. Frontiers Mar. Sci. DOI=10.3389/fmars.2015.00066

Salmon, K.H., P. Anand, P.F. Sexton, M. Conte. (2015) Upper ocean mixing controls the seasonality of planktonic foraminifer fluxes and associated strength of the carbonate pump in the oligotrophic North Atlantic. Biogeosciences 12, 223–235.

Babila, T.L., Rosenthal, Y. , M. H. Conte. (2014) Evaluation of the biogeochemical controls on B/Ca of Globigerinoides ruber white from the Oceanic Flux Program, Bermuda. Earth Planetary Sci. Letts. 404, 67-78. 

Gonsior M., W. J. Cooper, M. H. Conte, N. Hertkorn, D. Bastviken and P. Schmitt-Kopplin (2014) Photochemical production of polyols arising from significant photo-transformation of dissolved organic matter in the oligotrophic surface ocean. Mar. Chem. 163,10-18.

Conte, M. and J. C Weber (2014) Particle flux in the deep Sargasso Sea:  The 35 year Oceanic Flux Program time series, Oceanogr. 27, 142–147.

Chuang C.-Y., P. H. Santschi, Y.-F. Ho, M. H. Conte, L. Guo, D. Schumann, M. Ayranov. (2013) Biopolymers as major carrier phases and redox regulators of natural radionuclides of Th, Pa, Pb, Po, and Be in settingling particles in the Sargasso Sea. Mar. Chem., 157, 131-143.

Hong G.H., M. Baskaran, T.M. Church and M.H. Conte. (2013) Scavenging, cycling and removal fluxes of 210Po and 210Pb at the Bermuda Time Series site in the northwest Sargasso Sea. Deep-Sea Research II, 93,108-118.

Young, J. N., Bruggeman, J., Rickaby, R.E.M., Erez, J., Conte, M. (2013) Evidence for changes in carbon isotopic fractionation by phytoplankton between 1960 and 2010. Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 27, 505–515.

Shatova, O., D. Koweek,  M. H Conte  and J. C Weber. (2012) Contribution of zooplankton fecal pellets to particle flux in the mesopelagic Sargasso Sea. J. Plankton Res. 34, 905-921.

Mortazavi, B., M. Conte, J. Chanton, J. C. Weber, W. Cropper and T. Martin (2012) Variability in the carbon isotopic composition of foliage carbon pools (soluble carbohydrates, waxes) and respiration fluxes in southeastern US pine forests. J. Geophys. Res.- Biogeosciences., DOI: 10.1029/2011JG001867


*Dr. Conte is a non-resident faculty member.