Bess B. Ward

William J. Sinclair Professor of Geosciences and The High Meadows Environmental Institute; Chair, The Department of Geosciences
Ward Research Laboratory
Email Address: 
Office Location: 
217 Guyot Hall

Title:  William J. Sinclair Professor of Geosciences and The High Meadows Environmental Institute

Position: Faculty, The Department of Geosciences and The High Meadows Environmental Institute (HMEI), Chair, The Department of Geosciences

Group: Ward Research Laboratory

Area(s): Geochemistry, Biogeochemistry, Biological Oceanography, Microbiology

Research Summary: Research in the Ward laboratory concerns the marine and global nitrogen cycle, using molecular biological investigations of marine bacteria and bacterial processes (especially nitrification and denitrification), and measuring the rates of N transformation processes using various isotope approaches. We have ongoing research in the following areas:

  • Nitrogen cycling (nitrification, denitrification, anammox, etc.) in several suboxic zones of the world ocean (Arabian Sea, Eastern Tropical North and South Pacific) and in Chesapeake Bay, Great Sippewissett Salt Marsh, etc.
  • Nitrogen assimilation by phytoplankton and functional diversity of eukaryotic phytoplankton in the world ocean
  • Diversity of functional guilds of bacteria involved in the nitrogen cycle of aquatic systems

Keywords: oceanography, nitrogen, nitrification, denitrification, nitrous oxide