Andrew Babbin

Andrew Babbin Assistant Professor 54-1420
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ — Doctor of Philosophy, 2014, Geosciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ — Master of Arts, 2010, Geosciences, Columbia University, New York, NY— Bachelor of Science, Summa Cum Laude, 2008
Bio and Interests
Andrew Babbin is a marine biogeochemist, working on the nitrogen cycle, and especially on the processes that return fixed nitrogen in the ocean back to nitrogen gas. This work is relevant, for instance for understanding the controls on marine productivity and the ocean’s potential for storing carbon. In his short career, Andrew has already made some major contributions to this field, especially with regard to the contributions of anaerobic metabolisms (e.g. ammonium oxidation (anammox) and denitrification) in the ocean. He aims to expand his observational biogeochemical studies by using microfluidic devices to reproduce a variety of chemical conditions simultaneously and finely control the chemistry experienced by microbes. In addition to opening exciting new lines of research at EAPS—at the interface of physical-, chemical-, and (micro)biological oceanography and climate—his recruitment strengthens partnerships across campus (e.g. with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering) and beyond (e.g. with the MIT-WHOI Joint Program). Babbin received a BS degree from Columbia University (2008) and his doctoral degree (2014) from Princeton University. He came to MIT in November 2014 as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Civil and Environmental Engineering before joining the EAPS faculty as of January 2017. His lab group conducts research across a variety of avenues, coupling observational oceanography with laboratory experiments to understand the chemical underpinnings that control microbes in the environment and how these microbes in turn reshape Earth’s climate.
A. R. Babbin, A. Jayakumar, and B. B. Ward (2016), Organic Matter Loading Modifies the Microbial Community Responsible for Nitrogen Loss in Estuarine Sediments, Microbiology of Aquatic Systems, Microbial Ecology, Volume 71, Issue 3, pp 555-565. doi: 10.1007/s00248-015-0693-5

Ji, Q., A. R. Babbin, A. Jayakumar, S. Oleynik, and B. B. Ward (2015), Nitrous oxide production by nitrification and denitrification in the Eastern Tropical South Pacific oxygen minimum zone, Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, 10,755–10,764, doi: 10.1002/2015GL066853

Babbin, A.R., D. Bianchi, A. Jayakumar, and B.B. Ward (2015), Rapid nitrous oxide cycling in the suboxic ocean. Science, 348: 1127-1129. doi: 10.1126/science.aaa8380

Bianchi, D., Babbin, A. R., & Galbraith, E. D. (2014), Enhancement of anammox by the excretion of diel vertical migrators. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(44), 15653-15658, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1410790111

Babbin, A. R., Keil, R. G., Devol, A. H., & Ward, B. B. (2014), Organic matter stoichiometry, flux, and oxygen control nitrogen loss in the ocean. Science, 344(6182), 406-408, doi: 10.1126/science.1248364

Invited Participant, NSF-sponsored Chief Scientist Training Cruise (2016) | Invited Participant, Dissertations in Chemical Oceanography (2014) | Invited Participant, Surface Ocean Lower Atmosphere Study (SOLAS) Summer School (2013) | Robert Peele Prize in Earth & Environmental Engineering, Columbia University (2008) | Everard A. Elledge Memorial Scholar, Columbia University (2004 – 2008)