Cynthia Pilskaln

Professor

SMAST / Estuarine & Ocean Sciences

508-910-6327

508-910-6371

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School for Marine Science & Technology West, New Bedford 218A


Education

1978University of VermontB.A.
1980Harvard UniversityM.A.
1985Harvard UniversityPh.D

Teaching

Programs

Teaching

Courses

Process-oriented geological oceanography starting with the history of ocean floor exploration, theories of ocean basin formation, determination of geologic time and going through the major dynamic processes shaping and characterizing the seafloor - from beaches to basins, reefs to estuaries. Overviews of marine geophysics and plate tectonics, sea level variation and the formation of coastlines and reefs, and the importance of paleoceanography to assessing climate change will be presented and discussed. Throughout the course an interdisciplinary approach is taken and pertinent material on the interaction between marine geology/sediments/sedimentation processes and marine chemistry, physics, and biology will be presented. Wherever possible, the results of recent studies and special topics will be incorporated into the class material and tailored to the students' areas of research.

Process-oriented geological oceanography starting with the history of ocean floor exploration, theories of ocean basin formation, determination of geologic time and going through the major dynamic processes shaping and characterizing the seafloor - from beaches to basins, reefs to estuaries. Overviews of marine geophysics and plate tectonics, sea level variation and the formation of coastlines and reefs, and the importance of paleoceanography to assessing climate change will be presented and discussed. Throughout the course an interdisciplinary approach is taken and pertinent material on the interaction between marine geology/sediments/sedimentation processes and marine chemistry, physics, and biology will be presented. Wherever possible, the results of recent studies and special topics will be incorporated into the class material and tailored to the students' areas of research.

Process-oriented geological oceanography starting with the history of ocean floor exploration, theories of ocean basin formation, determination of geologic time and going through the major dynamic processes shaping and characterizing the seafloor - from beaches to basins, reefs to estuaries. Overviews of marine geophysics and plate tectonics, sea level variation and the formation of coastlines and reefs, and the importance of paleoceanography to assessing climate change will be presented and discussed. Throughout the course an interdisciplinary approach is taken and pertinent material on the interaction between marine geology/sediments/sedimentation processes and marine chemistry, physics, and biology will be presented. Wherever possible, the results of recent studies and special topics will be incorporated into the class material and tailored to the students' areas of research.

Seminar discussions and presentations based on research or detailed literature surveys.

Research

Research Activities

  • GOMTOX: Dynamics of Alexandrium fundyense distributions in the Gulf of Maine - an observational and modeling study of nearshore and offshore shellfish toxicity, vertical toxin flux, and bloom dynamics in a complex shelf sea, NOAA/ECOHAB, $831,883 (Pilskaln PI), 2006-2013 (includes C & Si cycling and fluxes and benthic nepheloid layer research)
  • Deposition and resuspension of Alexandrium fundyense resting cysts in the Gulf of Maine: Phase II/Modeling, NOAA/ECOHAB, $149,990 (Pilskaln PI), 2009-2014 (includes modeling of bottom resuspension & benthic nepheloid layer dynamics
  • Ocean acidification impacts on productive shelves, NOAA/WHOI, ~$75,000 (Pilskaln Co-PI; shared among WHOI and UNH colleagues), 2012-present (includes monitoring and process measurements)
  • Brazil Current studies on the southern Brazil continental margin, funded by Brazil federal agency through Univ. of Sao PauIo Inst. of Oceanography, Brazil, Pilskaln US Collaborator, new/2014 (4 years)

Research

Research Interests

  • Marine biogeochemistry and sedimentology
  • Geochemical particle fluxes in the ocean and large lake systems with emphasis on their quantitative relationship to climate forcing over short and long time scales and to underlying sediment record
  • Organic carbon and biogenic silica cycling including aggregation, export and remineralization processes in the water column and at the sediment/water interface
  • Development and use of particle imaging instrumentation, submersible vehicle-based technology, and image analysis techniques for the in-situ study of marine particulates and plankton

Select publications

Villareal T.A., C.H. Pilskaln, J.P. Montoya and M. Dennett (2014).
Upward nitrate transport by phytoplankton in oceanic waters: balancing nutrient budgets in oligotrophic seas
Peer J

Hwang, J., D.B. Montluçon, C.H. Pilskaln and T.I. Eglinton (2013).
Molecular and isotopic insights into POM sources and dynamics in Jordan Basin, Gulf of Maine
Continental Shelf Research, 68, 15-22.

Pilskaln, C.H., D.M. Anderson, D.J. McGillicuddy, Jr., B.A. Keafer, K. Hayashi and K. Norton (2013).
Spatial and temporal variability of Alexandrium cyst fluxes in the Gulf of Maine: Relationship to seasonal particle export and resuspension
Deep Sea Research II

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