Get to know the people in Café Thorium!
Ken Buesseler is a marine radiochemist who studies the fate and distribution of radioactive elements in the ocean. Their radioactive decay properties can tell us something about time-scales, or how quickly processes take place. Applications include studies of the ocean carbon cycle where the naturally occurring isotopes of thorium tell us how quickly and how much carbon is carried on sinking particles from the sun lite surface ocean through the ocean twilight zone to the deep sea. His lab has also been active in response to radioactivity released from disasters such as the impact of radioactivity released from the Fuksuhima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, and from earlier sources such as Chernobyl or atomic weapons testing at the Marshall Islands. Find out more about him HERE
Research Specialist - Radioanalytical Facility Manager
Steve is interested in the analysis and evaluation of trace metal contaminants in the environment including groundwater, aerosols and precipitation. He specializes in the isolation and measurement of artificial and natural radioisotopes in seawater and sediments as well as the development of field and laboratory techniques for detecting radioisotopes. Find out more about Steve HERE.
Research Associate II
Jessica has been working in Café Thorium since 2015. She is broadly interested in contaminants in the environment and the geochemical interactions of water, rocks, and microbes.
MIT-WHOI PhD Student - 2016-Present
MIT-WHOI PhD Student - 2018-Present
Samantha Clevenger is a graduate student in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program in Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2018 with a degree in Geochemistry. Her work in Café Thorium so far has focused on using thorium to better understand carbon export for NASA’s EXPORTS project.
Postdoctoral Investigator - 2021-Present
Wokil is a marine geochemist who completed his PhD in Chemical Oceanography at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge in May 2021. His research interests are biological carbon pump and particle dynamics, utilization of artificial and natural radioisotopes to study environmental process. As a Postdoctoral researcher, his research is focused on carbon export assessments in the upper euphotic zone and ocean twilight zone using sediment traps and radioisotopes.
Elena Ceballos Romero
Postdoctoral Investigator - 2021-Present
Elena is a Physicist that comes to us from the Universidad de Sevilla in Spain where she completed her PhD in Applied Physics in 2019. She was previously a visiting scholar in Cafe Thorium and we are glad to have her back! Her research aims at increasing the precision of the carbon export assessments in the oceans via the Biological Carbon Pump (BCP) and the parameterization of the key processes controlling it. To that purpose, she uses high resolution underwater cameras, UVP (Underwater Vision Profiler) type, for particle imaging coupled to a novel autonomous platform that acts as a sediment trap and numerical simulations.
Perrin is an undergraduate at the University of Chicago majoring in Physics and Applied Mathematics. As a Guest Student, he is advised by Jen Kenyon, Ken Buesseler, and David Nicholson. Currently, he is working on models of 234Th-derived carbon export.
Past Café Thorium Stars
Joint Program Students:
Erin Black (2017) - Erin is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Rochester.
Andrew McDonnell (2011) - Andrew is an Assistant Professor of Oceanography at the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He runs the Particle Dynamics Laboratory.
Stephanie Owens (2013)
Claudia Benitez-Nelson (1999) - Claudia is now a Professor in the Department of Earth, Ocean and Environment at the University of South Carolina.
Örjan Gustafsson (1997) - Örjan is a Professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry at Stockholm University.
Muntsa Roca-Marti (2018-2021) - Muntsa is now a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Ocean Frontier Institute with appointment at Dalhousie University & Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Virginie Sanial (2015-2017) - Virginie is now at the Université de Toulon, Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography, France.
Colleen Durkin (2012-2015) - Colleen is now part of the research faculty in the department of Biological Oceanography at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in California.
Margaret Estapa (2011-2014) - Meg is now an Assistant Professor in the School of Marine Sciences at the University of Maine.
Kanchan Maiti (2007) - Kachan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences at Louisiana State University.
Wen Yu (2018-2019) - Wen works at the Beijing Normal University in China. Her research focuses on tracking releases from the Fukushima disaster in seawater and marine biota.
Crystaline Breier (2011-2015)