We are investigating the types of biogeochemical processes catalyzed by the subsurface marine biosphere and the role that this community plays in global cycling of important elements including nitrogen, oxygen and carbon.
We are working to improve our understanding of the controls on N2O dynamics in coastal sediments, including distinguishing between biotic and abiotic processes and the controls on the relative proportion of these distinctive processes.
Redox transformations of iron often occur in close proximity to many redox transformations in the nitrogen cycle. We are exploring the way in which these cycles are linked through both biologically-catalyzed and chemically-catalyzed processes – and the implications of these processes for the fate of nitrogen pollution and greenhouse gas production.
These environments offer unique windows into the subsurface biosphere, where microbial communities thrive under extreme conditions. We are actively investigating sources and cycling of key nitrogen and carbon substrates across a variety of hydrothermal vent systems.
In order to expand the range of questions we can ask about biogeochemical processes in the deep-sea, we work to develop new analytical tools that enable in situ measurements of concentrations and stable isotope ratios of key compounds including methane and carbon dioxide
The Wankel Lab is in the Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. We focus primarily on improving our understanding of biotic and abiotic cycling processes of nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, sulfur, iron and manganese in a variety of marine environments through the development and application of light stable isotope biogeochemical approaches.
Wankel SD, W Ziebis, C Buchwald, C Charoenpong, D de Beer, J Dentinger, Z Xu, and K Zengler. 2017. Evidence for fungal and chemodenitrification based N2O flux from nitrogen impacted coastal sediments. Nature Communications.
Grabb KC, C Buchwald, C Hansel and SD Wankel. 2017. A dual nitrite isotopic investigation of chemodenitrification by mineral-associated Fe(II) and its production of nitrous oxide. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 196:388-402.
Sylvan JB, SD Wankel, DE LaRowe, C Charoenpong, JA Huber, CL Moyer and KJ Edwards. 2017. Evidence for microbial mediation of subseafloor nitrogen redox processes at Loihi Seamount, Hawaii. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta . DOI:/10.1016/j.gca.2016.10.029.