Dr. Maureen Conte


Maureen is a biogeochemist whose multi-disciplinary research utilizes a variety of organic and elemental geochemical and isotopic techniques to better understand both oceanic and terrestrial carbon cycle processes. Maureen in the Principal Investigator of the Oceanic Flux Program, a four-decade long time-series of the deep ocean particle flux, a key process that regulates many aspects of ocean biology, nutrient and elemental distributions as well as the ocean’s ability to take up anthropogenic carbon dioxide. Maureen also has research interests in biogenic aerosols and atmospheric transport, plant wax biomarkers, and the development of molecular and isotopic proxies for paleoclimate reconstruction.

In addition to her role* at BIOS, Maureen is a resident MBL Fellow at the Ecosystems Center, Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, where her lab group is located. Maureen received her PhD in Geology from Columbia University in 1989 where she investigated the biogeochemistry of particulate lipids in warm-core Gulf Stream ring systems.  Prior to joining BIOS in 2004, Maureen was a postdoc and then fellow in the Biogeochemistry Research Centre and School of Chemistry at the University of Bristol, UK and a research scientist in the Chemistry Department at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Research Interests:
deep ocean particle flux and linkages with upper ocean physics/biology and climate forcing; the use of organic and inorganic elemental tracers to elucidate fundamental processes controlling flux generation and attenuation within the ocean interior on time scales of days to decades; trace level molecular and isotopic organic geochemistry; use of plant waxes in biogenic aerosols to probe terrestrial biosphere functioning; application of molecular and isotopic proxies in paleocean and paleoclimate reconstructions.

Educational Background:
Columbia University, New York, NY, 1989
-PhD in Geology
Columbia University, New York, NY, 1987
-MPhil in Geology
Columbia University, New York, NY, 1982
-MA in Geology
The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 1975
-BA in Geography and Environmental Engineering

Further Information:
Oceanic Flux Program
Conte Research Group

Selected Publications:
Pedrosa- Pàmies, R., M.H. Conte, J.C. Weber, R. Johnson (2019) Hurricanes enhance labile carbon export to the deep ocean. Geophys. Res. Letts. 46, 10484-10494. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019GL083719

Conte, M.H. (2019) Oceanic Particle Flux. In Cochran, J. Kirk; Bokuniewicz, J. Henry; Yager, L. Patricia (eds.) Encyclopedia of Ocean Sciences, 3rd Edition, vol.[4], pp. 192-200. Oxford: Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-409548-9.11481-2

Conte, M. H., A. M. Carter, D. A. Koweek, S. Huang, J. C. Weber. (2018) The elemental composition of the deep particle flux in the Sargasso Sea. Chem. Geol. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemgeo.2018.11.001

Pedrosa-Pàmies, R., M.H. Conte, J.C. Weber, R. Johnson (2018) Carbon cycling in the Sargasso Sea water column: insights from lipid biomarkers in suspended particles. Progr. Oceanogr, 168, 248-278, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2018.08.005

Smart, S. M., H. Ren, S. E. Fawcett, R. Schiebel, M. H. Conte, P. A. Rafter, K. K. Ellis, M. A. Weig, D. M. Sigman and G. H. Haug. (2018) Ground-truthing the planktic foraminifer-bound nitrogen isotope paleoproxy in the Sargasso Sea. Geochem. Cosmochim. Acta. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2018.05.023

Conte, M.H. and J.C. Weber. (2014) Particle Flux in the deep Sargasso Sea: The 35 year Oceanic Flux Program time series, Oceanogr. 27, 142-147. https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2014.17

Chuang, C.-Y., P.H. Santschi, Y.-F. Ho, M.H. Conte, L. Guo, D. Schumann, and M. Ayranov. (2013) Biopolymers as major carrier phases and redox regulators of natural radionuclides of Th, Pa, Pb, Po and Be in settling particles in the Sargasso Sea. Mar. Chem., 157, 131-143. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marchem.2013.10.002

Shatova, O., D. Koweek, M.H. Conte and J.C. Weber. (2012) Contribution of zooplankton fecal pellets to particle flux in the mesopelagic Sargasso Sea. J. Plankton Res. 34, 905-921. https://doi.org/10.1093/plankt/fbs053

Conte, M. H., T. D. Dickey, J. C. Weber, R. J. Johnson and A. H. Knap. (2003) Transient physical forcing of pulsed export of bioreactive organic material to the deep Sargasso Sea. Deep-Sea Research I 50, 1157-1187. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0967-0637(03)00141-9

Conte, M. H., N. Ralph and E. Ross (2001) Seasonal and interannual variability in deep ocean particle fluxes at the Oceanic Flux Program/Bermuda Atlantic Time-series (BATS) site in the western Sargasso Sea near Bermuda, Deep-Sea Res. II, 48, 1471-1505. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0967-0645(00)00150-8


*Dr. Conte is a non-resident faculty member.

Contact Info

Dr. Maureen Conte
Senior Scientist

Tel: 508-289-7744
Fax: 508-457-5148