Kai Ziervogel

Director - Ocean Process Analysis Laboratory / Research Associate Professor
Phone: (603) 862-5478
Office: Ocean Process Analysis Lab, Morse Hall Rm 136A, Durham, NH 03824

I am a microbial oceanographer studying the role of marine microbes (mainly bacteria) in the ocean’s carbon cycle. My lab is measuring rates and activities of microbes in the water column, sediments, and sinking particles known as marine snow, to address the role of heterotrophic bacterial in the biological carbon pump, and microbial responses to anthropogenic impacts on marine environments such as oil spills, plastic pollution, and increasing sea surface temperature.


  • Ph.D., University of Rostock
  • M.S., University of Rostock

Research Interests

  • Biological Oceanography
  • Geochemistry

Courses Taught

  • INCO 590: Student Research Experience

Selected Publications

Caruso, G., & Ziervogel, K. (2022). Distribution and Metabolic Activities of Marine Microbes in Response to Natural and Anthropogenic Stressors. JOURNAL OF MARINE SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING, 10(8). doi:10.3390/jmse10081119

Ziervogel, K., Kamalanathan, M., & Quigg, A. (2022). Hydrolysis of Methylumbeliferyl Substrate Proxies for Esterase Activities as Indicator for Microbial Oil Degradation in the Ocean: Evidence from Observations in the Aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (Gulf of Mexico). JOURNAL OF MARINE SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING, 10(5). doi:10.3390/jmse10050583

Ross, J., Kinner, N., Saupe, S., Schloemer, J., & Ziervogel, K. (2022). Characterization of Particle Sedimentation in a Subarctic Estuary: a Sediment Trap Study over Two Productivity Seasons. ESTUARIES AND COASTS. doi:10.1007/s12237-022-01069-7

Ziervogel, K., Sweet, J., Juhl, A. R., & Passow, U. (2021). Sediment Resuspension and Associated Extracellular Enzyme Activities Measured ex situ: A Mechanism for Benthic-Pelagic Coupling in the Deep Gulf of Mexico. FRONTIERS IN MARINE SCIENCE, 8. doi:10.3389/fmars.2021.668621

Quigg, A., Santschi, P. H., Burd, A., Chin, W. -C., Kamalanathan, M., Xu, C., & Ziervogel, K. (2021). From Nano-Gels to Marine Snow: A Synthesis of Gel Formation Processes and Modeling Efforts Involved with Particle Flux in the Ocean. GELS, 7(3). doi:10.3390/gels7030114

Kleindienst, S., Seidel, M., Ziervogel, K., Grim, S., Loftis, K., Harrison, S., . . . Joye, S. B. (2015). Chemical dispersants can suppress the activity of natural oil-degrading microorganisms. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 112(48), 14900-14905. doi:10.1073/pnas.1507380112

Cardman, Z., Arnosti, C., Durbin, A., Ziervogel, K., Cox, C., Steen, A. D., & Teske, A. (2014). Verrucomicrobia Are Candidates for Polysaccharide-Degrading Bacterioplankton in an Arctic Fjord of Svalbard. APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY, 80(12), 3749-3756. doi:10.1128/AEM.00899-14

Martinez-Garcia, M., Brazel, D. M., Swan, B. K., Arnosti, C., Chain, P. S. G., Reitenga, K. G., . . . Stepanauskas, R. (2012). Capturing Single Cell Genomes of Active Polysaccharide Degraders: An Unexpected Contribution of Verrucomicrobia. PLOS ONE, 7(4). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035314

Ziervogel, K., McKay, L., Rhodes, B., Osburn, C. L., Dickson-Brown, J., Arnosti, C., & Teske, A. (2012). Microbial Activities and Dissolved Organic Matter Dynamics in Oil-Contaminated Surface Seawater from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Site. PLOS ONE, 7(4). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0034816

Passow, U., Ziervogel, K., Asper, V., & Diercks, A. (2012). Marine snow formation in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH LETTERS, 7(3). doi:10.1088/1748-9326/7/3/035301

Most Cited Publications