Environmental Geochemistry Group

Principal Investigators: Joel Barker, Anne Carey, and Berry Lyons

The Environmental Geochemistry Group collects and analyzes soil and water samples from many locations around the world to study biogeochemical cycles, anthropogenic influences on natural systems, and to use geochemistry as a tool to learn more about various hydrological, biological and physical processes.

Dr. W. Berry Lyons has conducted studies of the Dry Valleys region of Antarctica since 1993 as part of the NSF’s Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program.  Dr. Lyons has other ongoing projects in Antarctica, including drilling into the subglacial ecosystem of "Blood Falls" in the Dry Valleys and measuring glacial melt input into the Southern Ocean in West Antarctica. His team has also investigated hydrologic flowpaths in Panama using geochemical tracers, studied of the deposition of mercury on the landscape in the U.S. and Antarctica, and led investigations of chemical and physical weathering of rocks of high-standing oceanic islands like Taiwan and New Zealand. Members of his team also study the impact of human activities in urban areas on streams and lakes around Ohio.


Dr. Joel Barker’s research focuses on understanding biogeochemical processes in frozen environments. The cryosphere is experiencing the most dramatic response to climate change on the planet, yet how these changes affect local nutrient cycling and the implication of these changes on global nutrient cycles is poorly understood. Dr. Barker’s research group seeks to resolve some of this uncertainty by combining field sampling and observation with laboratory-based analysis, based out of the Polar Biogeochemistry Laboratory at BPCRC