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Seminar: Dr. John Kessler, University of Rochester
October 11, 2017 @ 3:35 pm - 4:35 pm
UNC Marine Sciences’ is proud to host a seminar by John Kessler, Ph.D.
Title: The Briny Blue Bubble Bender: Investigations of the chemical and isotopic kinetics of aerobic methane oxidation
Abstract: The ocean seafloor harbors the largest global reservoir of methane, yet despite hypotheses suggesting the climate sensitivity of this reservoir, the current flux of methane out of the ocean surface and into the atmosphere is small relative to other atmospheric sources of methane. One process that is known to limit the atmospheric expression of ocean-born methane is aerobic methane oxidation in seawater. However, fundamental unknowns remain about this process making it challenging to assess and predict the ultimate capacity, and limitations, of this process. This presentation will discuss our most recent experiments investigating the chemical and stable isotopic kinetics of aerobic methane oxidation. Specific questions we aimed to investigate involved determining the quantity of substrates necessary to oxidize a quantity of methane, the fundamental chemical reaction order for this process, and how the natural stable isotopic fractionation of methane may be used to quantitatively assess the total extent of methane oxidized.