Nicole is a PhD candidate in the Earth System Science department within Stanford Earth. She is studying biogeochemical oceanography under the guidance of Dr. Karen Casciotti. Nicole received her B.S. from Brown University in Environmental Science and Ecology and her M.S. in Marine Biology from San Francisco State University at the Estuary and Ocean Science Center. She also spent a few years working a variety of jobs in “the real world” before returning to school.
Nicole’s current research interests are focused on nitrogen cycling in the oceans, a topic that has roots in previous research on algal biofuel production and the ecological impacts of wastewater treatment plants. Her projects investigate how algae and nitrifying microbes in the upper ocean leave behind distinct nitrogen chemistries. Patterns in nitrogen chemistry across the global ocean tell us where different microbial metabolisms are occurring, which is important for understanding why certain areas of the ocean have more potential for carbon sequestration or may be emitting more of the potent greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide.