Research Projects

We focus on understanding mechanisms responsible for biogeochemical cycling in microbial ecosystems and identifying climate-ecosystem feedback loops using observations combined with numerical ecosystem models.

How will ocean ecosystems respond to changes in climate?

How will ocean ecosystems respond to changes in climate?

The oceans are inherently patchy on many different temporal and spatial scales.  This variability plays a fundamental role in driving biogeochemical cycles and ecosystem dynamics.  We use numerical ecosystem models to understand the impact of submesoscale variability in nutrient delivery on marine ecosystem dynamics and investigate how this may change with climate change.


What drives organic sulfur cycling in the surface ocean and what are the potential climate feedbacks?

What drives organic sulfur cycling in the surface ocean and what are the potential climate feedbacks?

A large fraction of the surface ocean food web is active in producing and cycling both dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) and dimethylsulfide (DMS).  In addition to the potential climatic significance of DMS production, the role that these compounds play in mediating ecosystem dynamics remains unknown. We combine measurements of functional gene abundance and expression with chemical measurements to understand the production and cycling of dimethylsulfide (DMS) at both open ocean and coastal sites.



  • Levine Laboratory
  • University of Southern California
  • 3616 Trousdale Parkway
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0371