Research interests

Byron is broadly interested in how microbial community structure and competition for limited resources regulate carbon cycling in the ocean. His current research is focused on identifying specific genes and metabolic pathways used by marine bacteria to degrade and consume dissolved organic carbon (DOC). He is also investigating the chemical properties of DOC that render some classes of molecules inaccessible to microbial degradation. Because the ocean's reservoir of DOC contains as much carbon as the the global  inventory of atmospheric carbon dioxide, studying the mechanisms of DOC turnover is critically important to enhancing our understanding of how these processes may be affected by global climate change. Byron's research in marine microbial ecology employs a combination of techniques including field observations and experiments, laboratory-based model systems, genomics and transcriptomics, and analytical marine chemistry in order to synthesize a mechanistic understanding of how microbial interactions  influence the the biogeochemical state of the ocean and ultimately the global carbon cycle



Byron Pedler Sherwood, Ph.D.
Senior Fellow  
Department of Biology
University of Pennsylvania
ph: (215) 573-3749
byrons@upenn.edu