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Profile Page

Rebecca S. Robinson
Assoc. Professor of Oceanography
312 CACS

Educational Background

Ph.D., Marine Geology and Geochemistry
M.S., Earth Sciences
A.B., Geology
University of Michigan
University of Southern California
Bryn Mawr College

Areas of Specialization


My primary interests lie in the cycling of biologically important elements, with a particular focus on the marine nitrogen cycle. On-going projects involve: 1) changing nutrient status of the Southern Ocean; 2) biogeochemical cycling within low latitude upwelling systems; 3) Linkages between nutrient status in the polar oceans and low latitude productivity.


OCG 648 Paleoceanography, Biological Controls on Ocean Chemistry




Patrick Bedsole, MS
Annie Hartwell, MS
Courtney Schmidt, PhD
Matt Horn, PhD, 2011
Julie Fliegler, MS, 2009



Robinson, R. S., Kienast, M. and NICOPP Working Group Members, 2012. A review of nitrogen isotopic alteration in marine sediments. Paleoceanography.

Higgins, M.B., Robinson, R.S., Carter, S.J., and Pearson, A., 2012, A high-resolution porphyrin nitrogen isotope record of an Ocean Anoxic Event: Evidence for a Cretaceous Ammonia Ocean: PNAS.

Horn, M., Beucher, C.P., Robinson, R.S., and Brzezinski, M., 2011, Southern Ocean Nutrient Dynamics During the Last Deglaciation, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 310, 334-339.

Horn, M., Robinson, R.S., Rynearson, T.A., and Sigman, D., 2011, Nitrogen isotopic relationship between diatom-bound and bulk organic matter of cultured polar diatoms. Paleoceanography

Higgins, M.B., Wolfe-Simon, F.L., Robinson, R.S., Qin, Y., Saito, M., and Pearson, A., 2011, Paleoenvironmental implications of taxonomic variation among δ15N values of chloropigments: Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta.

Oczkowski, A.J., Lewis, F.G., Nixon, S., Edmiston, H.L., Robinson, R.S., and Chanton, J., 2011, Seasonal and Spatial Variation in Carbon and Nitrogen Stable Isotope Signatures in Oysters in Apalachicola Bay, FL Estuaries and Coasts.

Kalansky, J., Robinson, R.S., and Popp, B., 2011, Insights into nitrogen cycling in the western Gulf of California from the nitrogen isotopic composition of diatom bound organic matter. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems.

Higgins, M.B., Robinson, R.S., Carter, S., and Pearson, A., 2010, Evidence from chlorin nitrogen isotopes for alternating nutrient regimes in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea: Earth and Planetary Science Letter, v. 290, p. 102-107.

Martinez, P.M., and Robinson, R.S., 2010, Increase in water column denitrification during the last deglaciation: the influence of oxygen demand in the eastern equatorial Pacific: Biogeosciences, v. 7, p. 1-9.

DiFiore, P.J., Sigman, D.M., Karsh, K.L., Trull, T.W., Dunbar, R.B., and Robinson, R.S., 2010, Poleward decrease in the isotope effect of nitrate assimilation across the Southern Ocean: Geophysical Research Letters, v. 37, p. doi:10.1029/GL044090.

De Pol-Holz, R., Robinson, R.S., Hebbeln, D., Sigman, D., and Ulloa, O., 2009, Controls on sedimentary nitrogen isotopes along the Chile margin: Deep-Sea Research II, v. 56, p. 1042-1054.

Higgins, M.B., Robinson, R.S., Casciotti, K.L., McIlven, M.R., and Pearson, A., 2009, Determining the nitrogen isotopic composition of porphyrins by the denitrifier method: Analytical Chemistry, v. 81, p. 184-192.

Ren, H., Sigman, D., Meckler, A.N., Plessen, B., Robinson, R.S., Rosenthal, Y., and Haug, G.H., 2009, Foraminiferal isotope evidence of reduced nitrogen fixation in the ice age Atlantic Ocean: Science, v. 323, p. 244-248.

Robinson, R.S., Martinez, P., Pena, L.D., and Cacho, I., 2009, Nitrogen isotopic evidence for deglacial changes in nutrient supply in the eastern equatorial Pacific: Paleoceanography, v. 24.

Langton, S.J., Linsley, B.K., Robinson, R.S., Rosenthal, Y., Oppo, D.W., Eglinton, T.I., Howe, S.S., Djajadihardja, Y.S., and Syamsudin, F., 2008, 3500yr record of centennial-scale climate variability from the Western Pacific Warm Pool: Geology, v. 36, p. DOI: 10.1130/G24926A.1.

Robinson, R.S., and Sigman, D., 2008, Nitrogen isotopic evidence for a poleward decrease in surface nitrate within the ice age Antarctic Quaternary Science Reviews, v. 27

Robinson, R. S., Mix, A. and Martinez, P. Southern Ocean control on the extent of denitrification in the southeastern Pacific. 2007. Quaternary Science Reviews. v. 26. p. 201-212.

Martinez, P., Lamy, F., Robinson, R. S. Pichivian, L., Billy, I. 2006. Atypical δ15N variations at the southern boundary of the East Pacific oxygen minimum zone over the last 50ka. Quaternary Science Reviews, v. 25, p. 3017-3028.

Robinson, R. S., D. M. Sigman, P. J. DiFiore, M. M. Rohde, T. A. Mashiotta, and D. W. Lea, Diatom-bound 15N/14N: New support for enhanced nutrient consumption in the ice age Subantarctic, Paleoceanography, 2005.



Robinson, R. S., Etourneau, J., Martinez, P. M., Schnieder, R. 2011, Expanding oxygen minimum zones in the face of Pleistocene cooling, AGU Fall Meeting. 

Robinson, R. S. Horn, M. Beucher, C., Brzezinski, M. A.  2011. Nitrogen and silicon dynamics in the deglacial Southern Ocean, Goldschmidt 2011, INVITED

Robinson, R. S., Horn, M. Beucher, C., Brzezinski, M. A., Martinez, P. 2010. High latitude controls on low latitude biogeochemistry. International Conference of Paleoceanography, San Diego, CA

Robinson, R. S., Horn, M., Fliegler, J. 2010. An evaluation of diatom-bound N isotopes using culture, modern water column, and fossil measurements. Ocean Sciences. INVITED

Robinson, R. S., Horn, M., Martinez, P. M., Cacho, I., Pena, L. 2009. High latitude controls on low latitude biogeochemistry. SOLAS Open Science Conference, Barcelona. INVITED

Robinson, R. S., Spivack, A. S., Schrum, H., D’Hondt, S. 2009. Reconstructing the isotopic composition of deep ocean nitrate using sedimentary porefluids from the South Pacific Gyre, Abstract, EOS –Transactions of the American Geophysical Union.

Beucher, C. P. Robinson, R. S. Brzezinski, M. A. Horn, M. G. 2009. Opal-bound nitrogen and silicon isotopic composition: Proxies of nutrient dynamics in the Southern Ocean, Abstract, EOS –Transactions of the American Geophysical Union

Fliegler, J., Robinson, R.S., Popp, B. 2009. Holocene diatom bound δ15N measurements from the Gulf of CA provide insight into the utilization of different nitrogen pools, Abstract, EOS –Transactions of the American Geophysical Union

Horn, M. A., Robinson, R. S., Rynearson, T. A. 2009. Testing the utility of the diatom-bound N isotope proxy using batch cultures, Abstract, EOS –Transactions of the American Geophysical Union

Higgins, M. B. Robinson, R. S., Carter, S. and Pearson, A. 2009, Evidence from chlorin nitrogen isotopes for alternating nutrient regimes in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta, Supplement Goldschmidt Conference Proceedings

Vinhateiro, N. D., King, J. W., Robinson, R. S., Reddy, C. M. 2007. Holocene stratigraphy and environmental history of a shallow water embayment in Narragansett Bay, RI. Estuarine Research Federation Annual Meeting.

Robinson, R.S. P. Martinez, Cacho, I. 2007. Contributions to bulk sedimentary nitrogen isotope variability in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific. Abstract: Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union.

Meyers, P. A., Bouloubassi, I. Pancost, R., Robinson, R. S. 2007. Pleistocene Variations in Delivery and Deposition of Organic Matter Under the Benguela Current Upwelling System- Biomarker Isotopic Evidence From Sediment Light-Dark Color Cycles. Abstract: Eos Transactions of the American Geophysical Union.

De Pol-Holz, R., Ulloa, O. Lamy, F., Hebbeln, D., Dezileau, L., Kaiser, J., Robinson, R. S., Sigman, D. M., Sabatier, P. 2006. Late Quaternary variation of sedimentary nitrogen isotopes in the eastern South Pacific Ocean. Abstract: Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union.

Robinson, R. S. and Sigman, D. M. 2005. Glacial diatom-bound δ15N records from the Antarctic Zone of the Southern Ocean. Abstract: Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union.

Robinson, R. S., Mix, A., and Martinez, P. 2005. Southern ocean controls on the extent of denitrification in the southeast Pacific (ODP Site 1234). Invited. Abstract: Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union.



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