Skip to main content
Phytoplankton are microscopic organisms at the base of the ocean’s food chain and a key component of a critical biological carbon pump.
Microbiology

Oregon State microbiology research furthers understanding of ocean’s role in carbon cycling

Researchers from the Department of Microbiology have shed new light on the mechanisms of carbon cycling in the ocean, using a novel approach to track which microbes are consuming different types of organic carbon produced by common phytoplankton species.

Factory in front of sunset.
News

Oregon State to lead Department of Energy project to capture carbon dioxide from the air

Oregon State University chemistry professor May Nyman has been selected as one of the leaders of a $24 million federal effort to develop technologies for combating climate change by extracting carbon from the air. The work by Nyman, OSU computational chemist Tim Zuehlsdorff and Argonne’s Ahmet Uysal and Michael Sinwell is part of a nine-project carbon capture and storage mission being funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Quagga mussels on rock on bank of Colorado River.
Integrative Biology

Low-flow research on Colorado River sheds light on eventual new normal for Grand Canyon

Researchers from Oregon State University say ecological data gathered during a recent low-flow experiment in the Grand Canyon is a key step toward understanding Colorado River ecosystems as the amount of water in the river continues to decline.

Oregon State marine ecologist Jane Lubchenco examines corals in the ocean
Faculty and Staff

Meet Biden's trailblazing climate science adviser

Biden tapped the celebrated Oregon State marine biologist Jane Lubchenco as one of his top advisers. Lubchenco is deputy director for climate and environment at the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Landscape graphic of a sea at night next to a mountain range at sunrise with paths leading towards a hue blue sky.
News

How our scientists are working for a sustainable future

With expertise spanning marine ecology, biofuel development, new modes of energy capture, evolutionary genetics and the microbiomes of coral reefs, OSU is committed to research that puts the environment first.

Dog standing at shoreline in Puget Sound at Edmond's Wash.
Marine Science

Leadership by Oregon State helps 14 nations commit to sustainable ocean management by 2025

Leaders of 14 major maritime nations announced their commitment to achieve 100% sustainable ocean management of their national waters by 2025, acting on recommendations of a group of global experts co-chaired by OSU marine ecologist Jane Lubchenco.

Corals along seafloor in Lizard Island.
Research

Scientists awarded grant to investigate how microbiomes can help species withstand climate change

A pivotal National Science Foundation award will enable Oregon State scientists to investigate how microbes influence their wildlife host’s sensitivity and resilience to disruptive changes in the natural environment.

Scuba diver collecting samples on shallow sea floor in Antarctica.
Marine Science

Discovery of first active seep in Antarctica provides new understanding of methane cycle

The discovery of the first active methane seep in Antarctica is providing scientists new understanding of the methane cycle and the role methane found in this region may play in warming the planet.

Grace Deitzler working with microscope in lab
Graduate students

2020 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships awarded to alumni and students

Two Ph.D. students in the College of Science Grace Deitzler in microbiology and John Stepanek in integrative biology — are among three OSU students to receive prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) awards in 2020.

Biobutanol
Chemistry

Chemist makes key advance toward production of important biofuel

An international research collaboration, led by Kyriakos Stylianou, an assistant professor of chemistry at Oregon State University, has taken an important step toward the commercially viable manufacture of biobutanol, an alcohol whose strong potential as a fuel for gasoline-powered engines could pave the path away from fossil fuels. The researchers are now looking to partner with industry to try to scale up the separation method using the new metal organic framework, says Stylianou, the study’s corresponding author. If it scales well, it could be an important milestone on the road toward non-reliance on fossil fuels.  

Researchers take a phytoplankton sample on an OSU research vessel.
Microbiology

Smaller than expected phytoplankton may mean less carbon sequestered at sea bottom

For the first time, scientists have taken a winter sampling of phytoplankton in the North Atlantic. The results revealed that the carbon-absorbing cells were smaller than what scientists expected, meaning a key weapon in the fight against excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may not be as powerful as previously believed.   

Mathematics graduate student Ruby (Ali) Chick
Graduate students

Mathematics graduate student explores marine systems through an interdisciplinary lens

Mathematics graduate student Ruby Chick pursues interdisciplinary research on microplastics through the National Science Foundation Research Traineeship Program at Oregon State University.