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Profile Page

Steven L. D`Hondt
Professor of Oceanography
100A, Horn Building

Educational Background

Ph.D. Geological and Geophysical Sciences
B.S., Geology
Princeton University
Stanford University

Areas of Specialization


My current projects include studies of microbial activities and diversity in subseafloor environments, marine microbial biogeography, and biological controls on the chemical evolution of the ocean and atmosphere. Members of my research group include post-doctoral scholar John Kirkpatrick, graduate students Emily Walsh, Justine Sauvage and Mary Dzaugis and laboratory manager Dennis Graham. We collaborate closely with other scientists from URI and other institutions. We participate in expeditions throughout the world. Many of our projects utilize the URI Geobiology Laboratory.


My graduate courses generally focus on aspects of geobiology. I also regularly teach a graduate course in Marine Stratigraphy. My recent undergraduate courses include Ocean Exploration (co-taught with Chris Roman), Global Environmental Change (co-taught with Arthur Spivack) and the 2008 URI Honors Colloquium (People and Planet - Global Environmental Change, co-taught with Spivack and Judith Swift).


With Spivack and Swift, I have organized GSO Vetlesen public lectures in recent years. All of my expeditions include an outreach component, which is typically led by a secondary school teacher who sails as a member of the shipboard science party. The outreach efforts of our Honors Colloquium included (1) public lectures and events, (2) sponsorship of book clubs throughout Rhode Island, (3) map exhibits at multiple locations throughout the state, (4) broadcasting of the lectures on public television, and (5) creation and internet posting of short videos. You can learn more about the 2008 Colloquium at http://www.uri.edu/hc.


Emily Walsh
Justine Sauvage
Mary Dzaugis
expected 2013
expected 2012
expected 2013


Kallmeyer, J., R. Pockalny, R. Adhikari, D.C. Smith and S. D’Hondt, 2012. Global distribution of subseafloor sedimentary biomass, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 109(40), 16213-16216.

Røy, H., J. Kallmeyer, R.R. Adhikari, R. Pockalny, B.B Jørgensen and S. D’Hondt, 2012. Aerobic microbial respiration in 86-million-year-old deep-sea red clay, Science 336 (6083), 922-925, DOI: 10.1126/science.1219424.

Lomstein, B.A., A.T. Langerhuus, S. D’Hondt, B.B. Jørgensen and A.J. Spivack, 2012. Spore abundance, microbial growth and necromass turnover in deep subseafloor sediment. Nature 484, 101–104, doi:10.1038/nature10905.

Halm, H., P. Lam, T.G. Ferdelman, G. Lavik, T. Dittmar, J. LaRoche, S. D’Hondt and M.M.M. Kuypers, 2012. Heterotrophic organisms dominate nitrogen fixation in the South Pacific Gyre. The ISME Journal 6, 1238-1249, doi:10.1038/ismej.2011.182.

D’Hondt, S., F. Inagaki, C.A. Alvarez Zarikian, and the Expedition 329 Scientists, 2011. Proc. IODP 329 (Tokyo, Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Management International, Inc.), doi:10.2204/ iodp.proc.329.2011.

D’Hondt, S., Abrams, L.J., Anderson, R., Dorrance, J., Durbin, A., Ellett, L., Ferdelman, T., Fischer, J., Forschner, S., Fuldauer, R., Goldstein, H., Graham, D., Griffith, W., Halm, H., Harris, R., Harrison, B., Hasiuk, F., Horn, G., Kallmeyer, J., Lever, M., Meyer, J., Morse, L., Moser, C., Murphy, B., Nordhausen, A., Parry, L., Pockalny, R., Puschell, A., Rogers, J., Schrum, H., Smith, D.C., Soffientino, B., Spivack, A.J., Stancin, A., Steinman, M., and Walczak, P., 2011. KNOX-02RR: drilling site survey—life in subseafloor sediments of the South Pacific Gyre. In D’Hondt, S., Inagaki, F., Alvarez Zarikian, C.A., and the Expedition 329 Scientists, Proc. IODP 329 (Tokyo, Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Management International, Inc.), doi:10.2204/ iodp.proc.329.112.2011.

Expedition 329 Scientists, 2011. South Pacific Gyre: subseafloor life and habitability in the South Pacific Gyre. IODP Prel. Rept. 329, doi:10.2204/iodp.pr.329.2011

Wehrmann, L.M., N. Risgaard-Petersen, H.N. Schrum, E.A. Walsh, Y. Huh, M. Ikehara, S. D’Hondt, T.G. Ferdelman, A.C. Ravelo, K. Takahashi, C. Alvarez Zarikian and the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 323 Scientific Party, 2011. Coupled organic and inorganic carbon cycling in the deep subseafloor sediment of the northeastern Bering Sea Slope (IODP Exp. 323), Chemical Geology 284, 251–261.

D’Hondt, S., F. Inagaki and C. Alvarez Zarikian, South Pacific Gyre Microbiology, 2010. Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Scientific Prospectus 329, doi:10.2204/iodp.sp.329.2010.

Wang, G., A.J. Spivack and S. D’Hondt, 2010. Gibbs energies of reaction and microbial mutualism in anaerobic deep subseafloor sediments of ODP Site 1226, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 74, 3938-3947.

D’Hondt, S., A. Spivack, R, Pockalny, T. Ferdelman, J. Fischer, J. Kallmeyer, L. Abrams, D.C. Smith, D. Graham, F. Hasiuk, J. Rogers, H. Schrum and A. Stancin, 2009. Subseafloor sedimentary life in the South Pacific gyre, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 106(28), 11651-11656.

Schrum, H.N., A.J. Spivack, M. Kastner and S. D’Hondt, 2009. Sulfate-reducing denitrification: A thermodynamically feasible metabolic pathway in subseafloor sediments, Geology 37(10), 939-942.



Dunlea A.G., R.W., Murray, J. Sauvage, A.J. Spivack, R.N. Harris and S. D’Hondt, 2012. Geochemically tracking provenance changes in marine sediment from the South Pacific Gyre throughout the Cenozoic, Abstract PP21C-06 presented at 2012 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 3-7 Dec.

Huang, Y., A.J. Spivack, H. Røy, B. Gribsholt, W. Ziebis, R.W. Murray, J.H. Hyun and S. D’Hondt, 2012. The Redfield Ratio over the Past 70 Million Years, Abstract PP23F-03 presented at 2012 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 3-7 Dec.

Kallmeyer, J., R. Pockalny, R.R. Adhikari, D.C. Smith, S. D’Hondt, 2012. Global Distribution of Microbial Abundance and Biomass in Subseafloor Sediment, Abstract B42C-01 presented at 2012 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 3-7 Dec.

Kirkpatrick, J.B., A.J. Spivack, D.C. Smith and S. D’Hondt, 2012. Connections between the microbial community and a mysterious ammonium flux in subseafloor sediment, Abstract B43G-0489 presented at 2012 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 3-7 Dec.

Sauvage, J., A.J. Spivack, A.G. Dunlea, R.W. Murray, D.C. Smith and S. D’Hondt, 2012. Radiolyis and life in deep subseafloor sediment of the South Pacific Gyre, Abstract B43G-0488 presented at 2012 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 3-7 Dec.

Zhang, G., C.E. Smith-Duque, S. Tang, Shizhen Li, C.A. Alvarez Zarikian, S. D’Hondt, and F. Inagaki, 2012. A long-lived ancient subduction-induced mantle boundary within the Pacific mantle, Abstract B43G-0488 presented at 2012 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 3-7 Dec.


Member for
6 years 24 weeks