David J. Burdige

Professor and Eminent Scholar, Department of Ocean and Earth Sciences, Old Dominion University


A variety of research activities are carried in my lab. Broadly, these fall under the category of biogeochemical processes in estuarine and marine sediments. My most recent and current research activities focus on:

  • Fe and Mn cycling in west Antarctic continental shelf sediments,
  • Tracing the transformations of dissolved organic carbon in continental margin sediments using natural carbon isotopes,
  • Shallow water sediment carbonate dissolution and sediment-carbonate seagrass interactions,
  • Modeling of sediment biogeochemical processes.

Past research activities have included studies of:

  • Manganese and iron redox chemistry,
  • The biogeochemistry and organic geochemistry of amino acids, aliphatic amines and carbohydrates in marine sediments,
  • Fluorescence of pore water DOM,
  • Fluxes of DOM from marine sediments,
  • The cycling and reactivity of DOM in sediments,
  • The kinetics of organic matter remineralization and nutrient regeneration in sediments,
  • Trace metal complexation in sediment pore waters, its role in controlling trace metal benthic fluxes, and the role of sediments as sources of trace metal complexing ligands
  • Organomineralization and carbonate mineral diagenesis.The role of submarine groundwater discharge in the oceanic Nd budget,
  • Dissolved organic matter (DOM) cycling in northern latitude peat bogs and its role in methane fluxes,

Field work on these projects is (and has been) carried out in:

  • Chesapeake Bay,
  • Elizabeth River estuary,
  • The mid-Atlantic continental shelf,
  • Carbonate sediments in the Bahamas near Lee Stocking Island,
  • The California continental margin between Los Angeles and Monterey Bay,
  • Pettasquamscutt River, Rhode Island,
  • The west Antarctic continental shelf.

Prospective graduate students interested in working in my research group should also contact me by email (dburdige@odu.edu)