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Dr. Rose Cory

Rose M. Cory
Associate Professor
Aquatic Geochemistry
Earth & Environmental Sciences

I am interested in the chemistry of naturally occurring dissolved organic matter (DOM) in freshwaters. These organic molecules are small (passing through even the smallest pore-sized filters), but they are of great interest in aquatic ecosystems. For example, DOM is the main sunlight-absorbing constituent in natural waters, meaning that DOM gives freshwaters their color (light yellow to brown), controls the depth of photosynthesis in lakes, and acts as “sunscreen” for aquatic organisms. DOM is also involved in sustaining life in aquatic ecosystems because it is the source of carbon (and energy) for bacterial respiration. It is this role of DOM in carbon cycling, the complex feedback processes whereby carbon is transformed from inorganic to organic forms then back again, that is the focus of my research. The large pools of DOM on Earth and their transformations are important for the global carbon cycle, especially in Arctic and boreal regions where thawing permafrost exposes new soil carbon that can be released to the atmosphere or flushed as DOM to streams, rivers, and lakes. In these surface waters I study the chemical properties of DOM to understand how it absorbs sunlight and participates in photochemical reactions that influence its direct degradation and its indirect degradation through bacterial activity.

Contact information:
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
2534 C.C. Little Building
1100 N. University Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
ph: 734-615-3199
fx: 734-763-4690

PhD students

Adrianna Trusiak

Adrianna Trusiak
PhD Candidate
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

I am a graduate student at the University of Michigan in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. In 2014 I graduated with a B.S. in Geology from the Macaulay Honors College at the City College of New York. During my undergraduate studies my research was focused on virus interactions with soils in aqueous environments. My undergraduate research stimulated my interest in processes taking place in freshwater environments. I am interested in the role of iron in the oxidation of dissolved organic matter to CO2 Arctic soils and freshwater sediments.

Jenny Bowen

Jenny Bowen
PhD Candidate
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

I am a graduate student at the University of Michigan in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. I have a B.S. in Chemistry and Environmental Science & Policy from Chapman University. During my undergraduate research, I studied the chemistry of organic matter in wetlands and since became interested in what controls the fate of organic matter in freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. Now, I am studying carbon cycling in temperate and tropical streams. I am investigating how sunlight and organic matter chemical composition control how well bacteria convert organic matter to CO2, a greenhouse gas, in streams.

Aislinn Deely

Aislinn Deely
PhD pre-Candidate
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

I am a graduate student at the University of Michigan in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. In 2015, I graduated from the Macaulay Honors College at Queens College with a B.S. in Environmental Science. I completed a senior thesis entitled “Anthropogenic Effects on Sedimentation in the Harlem and East Rivers,” investigating the anthropogenic actions that halted the deposition of coarse material in these urban estuaries. I am interested what controls carbon dioxide emissions in the Arctic.

Lab Technician

Lija Treibergs

Lija Treibergs
Senior Research Laboratory Technician

I joined the Cory Lab in the summer of 2015 as a research technician. Although my background is in nitrogen cycling in the ocean, I quickly acclimated to fieldwork on land in the Alaskan Arctic and made the transition from marine to terrestrial aquatic systems and from nitrogen to carbon. Broadly I am interested in the geochemical cycles of biologically important elements and how those cycles are connected across landscapes. MSc. in Oceanography, University of Connecticut, 2015 B.A. in Geosciences, Princeton University, 2012

Group Alumni

Lab alumns: Brittany (undergrad RA 2012) and Collin (PhD 2015)

  • Dr. Collin Ward, PhD May 2015, postdoc 2015-2016, now postdoctoral fellow at WHOI
  • D. Max Findley, lab technician from 2015-2016, now a graduate student of science history in Australia
  • Katie Harrold, MS 2013, lab technician from 2013-2015, now at OWASA
  • Dr. Sarah Page, postdoctoral fellow 2014, now at Arcadis, U.S., Inc.
  • Erin Eberhard, undergrad research assisant in 2014-2015, now a graduate student at Michigan Tech Univ.
  • Kate Yuhas, undergraduate research assistant from 2013-2016, now EPA intern
  • Oliver Harfield, undergraduate research assistant from 2013-2014
  • Brittany Papworth, BSPH May 2012, recent MD graduate of UNC med school
  • Carrie Doyle, MS December 2013
  • George Dang, MS December 2011, now at Anchor QEA, LLC as an Environmental Scientist
  • Angela Wang, MSPH May 2011, now at John Snow, Inc. as a Program Officer working on USAID | DELIVER project
  • Rory Polera, MSEE December 2010, now at Oasys Water, Inc. as an Engineer