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Patricia L. Yager

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Patricia Yager (Ph.D., University of Washington, 1996) is a Professor of Marine Science at the University of Georgia. Her interdisciplinary research combines oceanography, marine ecology, and biogeochemistry, and concentrates on the interactions between climate and marine ecosystems. Recent projects investigate the effects of melting ice sheets on Arctic and Antarctic coastal productivity, but she has also examined carbon fluxes in the Amazon River plume. 

  • Ph.D. 1996, University of Washington, School of Oceanography
  • M.S. 1988, University of Washington, School of Oceanography
  • B.S. 1985, Brown University, Dept of Geology
Research Interests:

Research Emphasis:

Yager's interdisciplinary research approach includes oceanography, marine microbial ecology and biogeochemistry. Her work concentrates on the interactions between climate and marine ecosystems, and includes both fieldwork and modeling. Recent projects include investigating the effects of melting ice sheets on Arctic and Antarctic coastal productivity, and carbon sequestration by microbial communities in the Amazon River plume. 

Labs (via personnel):

2021           National Science Foundation. PENDING. NSFGEO-NERC: Collaborative Research: Accelerating Thwaites Ecosystem Impacts for the Southern Ocean (ARTEMIS). $800K, Yager is lead PI. 5 co-PIs, Award pending logistics review.

2021           Ray C. Anderson Foundation. Georgia Climate Project. $300K, 3 yr. Yager is co-director of the project and Lead PI for UGA.

2020           Private donor. The Climate Rescue Project Fund. $100k. Yager is PI. A perpetual fund to motivate and support research, teaching, and service at the University of Georgia on how to solve the global climate crisis. Supports the Georgia Initiative for Climate and Society.

2018           Ray C. Anderson Foundation. Georgia Climate Project. $100K, 3 yr. Yager is PI for UGA subcontract. Project led by D. Rochberg (Emory University) with 5 co-PIs for a total of $650K;

2017     National Academy Keck Futures Initiative (NAKFI). Mapping Deep Blue Habitats in a Changing Climate. $100K, 2 yr. Yager is lead PI with 2 co-PIs: J. Spivey (UGA) and C. Deutsch (UW).

2015           National Science Foundation – Office of Polar Programs. Collaborative research: investigating the role of mesoscale processes and ice dynamics in carbon and iron fluxes in a changing Amundsen Sea (INSPIRE; ANT-1443604). $50K, 3 yr. Project led by P. St-Laurent (ODU) with 5 co-PIs for total of $300K.

2010           Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation – Marine Microbiology Initiative. The River Ocean Continuum of the Amazon (ROCA; GBMF-2293). $2.4 million, 3 yr. Yager was lead PI for the project with 9 co-PIs on subcontracts.

2009           National Science Foundation – Emerging Topics in Biogeochemistry. Collaborative Research: ETBC: Amazon influence on the Atlantic: carbon export from nitrogen fixation by diatom symbioses (ANACONDAS; OCE-0934095). $478K, 4 yr. Yager was lead PI for the project and sole PI at UGA, with 9 co-PIs for a total of $3.2 million.

2009           National Science Foundation – Office of Polar Programs. Collaborative Research: does competition for nitrogen between autotrophs and heterotrophs control carbon fluxes in the western coastal Arctic (ARC-0910252)? $314K, 3 yr. Yager was lead PI and sole PI at UGA, with 2 co-PIs for a total of $950K.

2009           National Science Foundation – Office of Polar Programs. Collaborative Research onboard Icebreaker Oden: ASPIRE: Amundsen Sea Polynya International Research Expedition (ANT-0839069). $290K, 30 mo. Yager was lead PI and sole PI at UGA, with 4 co-PIs for a total of $1.5 million.

2021     Mu, L., H. R Gomes, S. M. Burns, J. I. Goes, V. J. Coles, C. E. Rezende, F. L. Thompson, R. L. Moura, B. Page, and P. L. Yager (2021). Temporal variability of air–sea CO2 flux in the western tropical North Atlantic influenced by the Amazon River plume. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. GBC21132.

Oliver, H.,P. St-Laurent, R. M. Sherrell, and P. L. Yager (2019). Modeling iron and light controls on the summer Phaeocystis antarctica bloom in the Amundsen Sea Polynya. Global Biogeochem. Cyc.

St-Laurent, P., Yager, P. L., Sherrell, R. M., Oliver, H., Dinniman, M. S., & Stammerjohn, S. E. (2019). Modeling the seasonal cycle of iron and carbon fluxes in the Amundsen Sea Polynya, Antarctica. Journal Geophysical Research: Oceans, 124.

Richert, I., P. L. Yager, J. Dinasquet, R. Logares, L. Riemann, A. Wendeberg, S. Bertilsson, D. G. Scofield (2019). Summer comes to the Southern Ocean: how surface phytoplankton shapes bacterioplankton communities far into the deep dark sea. Ecosphere.

Rudd MA, Moore AFP, Rochberg D, Bianchi-Fossati L, Brown MA, et al. 2018. Climate research priorities for policy-makers, practitioners, and scientists in Georgia, USA. Environmental Management. DOI

Oliver H, Luo H, Castelao R, van Dijken G, Mattingly K, Rosen JJ, Mote TL, Arrigo KR, Rennermalm AK , Tedesco M, Yager PL. 2018.  Exploring the Potential Impact of Greenland Meltwater on Stratification, Photosynthetically Active Radiation, and Primary Production in the Labrador Sea. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans. DOI Google Scholar BibTex XML

St-Laurent P, Yager PL, Sherrell RM, Stammerjohn SE, Dinniman MS. 2017. Pathways and supply of dissolved iron in the Amundsen Sea (Antarctica). Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans. 122(915-16C11353):7135-7162. DOI Google Scholar BibTex XML

Coles VJ, Stukel MR, Brooks MT, Burd A, Crump BC, et al.  2017.  Ocean biogeochemistry modeled with emergent trait-based genomics. Science. 358(6367):1149-1154. DOI Google Scholar BibTex XML

Yager PL, Sherrell RM, Stammerjohn SE, Ducklow HW, Schofield OME, et al.  2016.  A carbon budget for the Amundsen Sea Polynya, Antarctica: Estimating net community production and export in a highly productive polar ecosystem. Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene. 4:000140. DOI Google Scholar BibTex XML

Luo H, Castelao RM, Rennermalm AK, Tedesco M, Bracco A, Yager  L., Mote TL.  2016.  Oceanic transport of surface meltwater from the southern Greenland ice sheet. Nature Geoscience. 9:528-532. DOI Google Scholar BibTex XML

Medeiros PM, Seidel M, Niggemann J, Spencer RGM, Hernes PJ, Yager, et al. 2016.  A novel molecular approach for tracing terrigenous dissolved organic matter into the deep ocean. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 30:689-699. DOI Google Scholar BibTex XML

Moura RL, Amado-Filho GM, Moraes FC, Brasileiro PS, Salomon PS, et al. 2016.  An extensive reef system at the Amazon River mouth. Science Advances. 2(4):e1501252-e1501252. DOI Google Scholar BibTex XML

Sherrell RM, Lagerström ME, Forsch KO, Stammerjohn SE, Yager PL.  2015.  Dynamics of dissolved iron and other bioactive trace metals (Mn, Ni, Cu, Zn) in the Amundsen Sea Polynya, Antarctica. Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene. 3:000071. DOI Google Scholar BibTex XML

Stammerjohn SE, Maksym T, Massom RA, Lowry KE, Arrigo KR, Yuan X, Raphael M, Randall-Goodwin E, Sherrell RM, Yager PL. 2015.  Seasonal sea ice changes in the Amundsen Sea, Antarctica, over the period of 1979–2014. Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene. 3:000055. DOI Google Scholar BibTex XML

Seidel M, Yager PL, Ward ND, Carpenter EJ, Gomes HR, Krusche AV, Richey JE, Dittmar T, Medeiros PM.  2015.  Molecular-level changes of dissolved organic matter along the Amazon River-to-ocean continuum. Marine Chemistry. 177:218-231. DOI Google Scholar BibTex XML

Medeiros PM, Seidel M, Ward ND, Carpenter EJ, Gomes HR, Niggemann J, Krusche AV, Richey JE, Yager PL, Dittmar T.  2015.  Fate of the Amazon River dissolved organic matter in the tropical Atlantic Ocean. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 29(5):677-690. DOI Google Scholar BibTex XML

Delmont TO, Hammar KM, Ducklow HW, Yager PL, Post AF.  2014.  Phaeocystis antarctica blooms strongly influence bacterial community structures in the Amundsen Sea polynya. Frontiers in Microbiology. 5 DOI Google Scholar BibTex XML

Mu L, Stammerjohn SE, Lowry KE, Yager PL.  2014.  Spatial variability of surface pCO2 and air-sea CO2 flux in the Amundsen Sea Polynya, Antarctica. Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene. 2:000036. DOI Google Scholar BibTex XML

Garay L, Wotkyns AM, Lowry KE, Warburton J, Alderkamp A-C, Yager PL.  2014.  ASPIRE: Teachers and researchers working together to enhance student learning. Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene. 2:000034. DOI Google Scholar BibTex XML

Satinsky BM, Crump BC, Smith CB, Sharma S, Zielinski BL, et al..  2014.  Microspatial gene expression patterns in the Amazon River Plume. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 111(30):11085–11090. DOI Google Scholar BibTex XML

Ward ND, Keil RG, Medeiros PM, Brito DC, Cunha AC, Dittmar T, Yager PL, Krusche AV, Richey JE.  2013.  Degradation of terrestrially derived macromolecules in the Amazon River. Nature Geoscience. 6(7):530-533. DOI Google Scholar BibTex XML

Yager P, Sherrell R, Stammerjohn S, Alderkamp A-C, Schofield O, et al. 2012. ASPIRE: The Amundsen Sea Polynya International Research Expedition. Oceanography. 25(3):40-53.DOI Google Scholar BibTex XML

Yeung LY, Berelson WM, Young ED, Prokopenko MG, Rollins N, et al. 2012. Impact of diatom-diazotroph associations on carbon export in the Amazon River plume. Geophysical Research Letters. 39(18):n/a-n/a. DOI Google Scholar BibTex XML

Fransson A, Chierici M, Yager PL, Smith WO. 2011. Antarctic sea ice carbon dioxide system and controls. Journal of Geophysical Research. 116(C12) DOI Google Scholar BibTex XML

Yager PL, Wallace DWR, Johnson KM, Smith WO, Minnett PJ, Deming JW. 1995. The Northeast Water Polynya as an atmospheric CO 2 sink: A seasonal rectification hypothesis. Journal of Geophysical Research. 100(C3):4389. DOI Google Scholar BibTex XML


Of note:

Dr. Yager was awarded a Visiting Professorship (Ciência sem Fronteiras) in Brazil, and the Antarctic Service Medal. Her research has been funded by the US National Science Foundation, NASA, DOE, NOAA, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the Keck Foundation.  She has over 75 peer-reviewed publications, and has been cited over 4600 times.  She is the Director of the Georgia Initiative for Climate and Society at the University of Georgia, and a co-Director of the statewide Georgia Climate Project.  

Articles Featuring Patricia L. Yager
Thursday, August 8, 2019 - 10:18am

This past week, the surface of Greenland warmed above the freezing point to the greatest extent…

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - 12:55pm

The Georgia Climate project was formed in order to outline some key issues surrounding climate change and its effects in Georgia.

Friday, September 9, 2016 - 4:37pm

Patricia Yager is featured in this month's University of Georgia Magazine for her discovery of a new coral reef at the mouth of the Amazon. For full text of the article, check out the digital issue…

Friday, April 22, 2016 - 3:51pm

Athens, Ga. – A new reef system has been found at the mouth of the Amazon River, the largest river by discharge of water in the world. As large rivers empty into the world’s oceans in areas known as plumes, they typically create gaps in the reef distribution…

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