Janelle Steffen


  • Chemical Oceanography
  • Trace Metal Geochemistry
  • Stable Metal Isotopes
  • Inductively-Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS)
  • Analytical Chemistry

Iron limits the growth of phytoplankton in approximately 40% of the surface ocean. This, in turn, affects the removal of carbon from the atmosphere and the global climate overall. Iron sources to the open ocean include aerosols, continental river runoff, hydrothermal vents, and shelf sediments. While initiatives such as GEOTRACES are doing important work to quantify iron in the ocean, less is known on where this iron is coming from, where this iron is going, and the oceanographic processes affecting this iron.

My research will use iron isotope signatures to determine iron sources and chemical processes in distinctive ocean transects. Further, I will be working with Dr. Jessica Fitzsimmons and colleagues across the country to set up and optimize a MC-ICP-MS Thermo Neptune. This will make TAMU one of the few locations in the world able to accurately measure stable metal isotopes in seawater.


2013- M.S. STEM Education, Johns Hopkins University

2011- B.S. Environmental Science, Indiana University


2018- Texas A&M University Merit Fellowship

Additional Information

Advisor: Dr. Jessica Fitzsimmons

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