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Earth & Environmental Sciences
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Faculty
Teofilo (Jun) Abrajano

Professor, Isotope Geochemistry
Director, Environmental Science Program
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Contact Information:

(518) 276-6036
abrajt@rpi.edu

More Info:

www.rpi.edu/~abrajt/abrajt.html

Courses Taught:

ERTH-2140 Introduction to Geochemistry
ERTH-6730 Groundwater Contaminant Transport
ERTH-4690/6060 Aqueous Geochemistry
ERTH-6963 Isotope Geochemistry
ERTH-4500 Global Environmental Change
IENV-4700 One Mile of the Hudson
IENV-1910/1912 1st Year Environmental Seminar I/II

Research Areas:

Compound-specific stable isotope analysis is quickly changing the face of earth and environmental sciences. The impact is felt most in biogeochemical and environmental research, which themselves are fields undergoing tremendous evolution. Basic and applied questions pertaining to pollutant fate and transport, and renewed interest on paleo- and modern surface environments including the site of life's origin continue to demand more definitive methods of investigations.

A common theme of our research projects is the elucidation of the sources and fate of biogenic and anthropogenic organic compounds in surface and groundwater systems using compound-specific stable isotope measurements. We have investigated a wide range of priority pollutants including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), common solvents, fuel products and additives, and other petroleum hydrocarbons, to unravel their sources and quantify their transport and degradation in surface and groundwater environments. We are particularly interested in establishing the "systematics" of isotope fractionation accompanying transport, metabolism and biodegradation of organic contaminants for incorporation into quantitative models needed to assess contamination history and predict future contaminant behavior.

Our studies of natural biogenic compounds parallel our studies of contaminant sources and pathways. In particular, we examine the sources and pathways of biogenic compounds, including various lipid classes, phenylpropanoids and S compounds, to examine the cycling of C and S role in aquatic environments. The study of lipid classes allows us to delineate energy flow and carbon transfer from primary producers to the food web, thus giving us essential information on trophic structure and linkages in modern and paleo-ecosystems. In addition to lipids, our studies of terrestrial systems had also included the use of lignin-derived biomarkers to examine the specific role of vascular plant sources in the carbon cycle. The research objectives are to likewise establish the relevant isotope "systematics" and to credibly apply the approach to field studies of organic matter sources, transport, metabolism and degradation.

Selected Publications:

Abrajano, T. A., O'Malley, V. and Yan, B. (2003) CHAPTER 13: High Molecular Weight Petrogenic and Pyrogenic Hydrocarbons in Aquatic Environments, In Treatise of Geochemistry, (B. Sherwood-Lollar, Volume Editor; Holland, H. and Turekian, K., Editors), Elsevier Publishing, p. 475-510.

Namocatcat, J.A., Fang, J., Barcelona, M.J., Quibuyen, A. and Abrajano, T., (2003) Trimethylbenzoic acids as metabolite signatures in the biogeochemical evolution of an aquifer contaminated with jet fuel hydrocarbons. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology 67, 177-194.
Stark, A. (deceased), Abrajano, T., Hellou, J. and Smith, J., (2003) Molecular and Isotopic Characterization of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Distribution and Sources at the International Segment of the St. Lawrence River, Organic Geochemistry 34, 225-237.

Ramos, C.S., Parrish , C.C., Quibuyen, T. and Abrajano, T. (2003) Fatty acid and lipid class biogeochemistry of rapidly settling particles during a spring bloom in a cold ocean environment, Organic Geochemistry 34, 195-207.

Pulchan, K.J., Helleur, R. and Abrajano, T.A. (2003) TMAH thermochemolysis characterization of marine sedimentary organic matter in a Newfoundland fjord, Organic Geochemistry 34, 305-317.

Abrajano, T., Aksu, A., Hiscott, R.N., and Mudie, P.J. (2002) Aspects of carbon isotope biogeochemistry of Late Quaternary sediments from the Marmara Sea and Black Sea, Marine Geology 190, 151-164.

Aksu, A.E., Hiscott, R.N. , Kaminski, M.A., Mudie, P.J., Abrajano, T. and Yasar, D. (2002) Last glacial-Holocene paleoceanography of the Black Sea and Marmara Sea: stable isotopic, foraminiferal and coccolith evidence, Marine Geology 190, 119-150.

Fang, J., Barcelona, M. J., Abrajano, T. A., Nogi, Y., and Kato, C. (2002) Isotopic composition of fatty acids isolated from the extremely piezophilic bacteria from the Mariana Trench at 11,000 Meters. Marine Chemistry 80, 1-9.

Parrish, C. C., Abrajano, T. A., Budge, S. M., Favaro, Y. L., Helleur, R. J., Hudson, E. D. and Pulchan, K. 2002. The marine environment: Past and present inputs to Trinity Bay. In The Resilient Outport: Ecology, Economy and Society in Rural Newfoundland, ed. R. E. Ommer. ISER, St. John’s, NF, pp. 40-72..

Aksu, A.E., Hiscott, R.N., Mudie, P.J/, Rochon, A., Kaminski, M.A., Abrajano, T., and Yas¸ ar, D. (2002) Persistent Holocene Outflow from the Black Sea to the Eastern Mediterranean Contradicts Noah's Flood Hypothesis, GSA Today 12, 4-10.

Abrajano T, Stark A, Smith, J. and Hellou, J (2002) Molecular and Carbon Isotopic Characterization of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Distribution in Mussels and Associated Sediments from the Massena-Cornwall Area, St. Lawrence River, Goldschmidt Conference, Davos, Switzerland, p.24.

Fang, J. Barcelona, M.J., Abrajano, T., and Kato, C., 2002, Stable carbon isotopic composition of fatty acids of extremely peizophilic bacteria from the Mariana Trench, Geological Society of America, Programs with Abstracts, Denver, CO.

Abrajano, T.A. and Bopp, R.F. (2001) Sources and chronology of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon deposition in sediments from the lower Hudson watershed. Goldschmidt Conference, Hot Springs, Virginia USA, p. 78.

Diegor, W. , Longerich , H., Abrajano, T. , and Horn, I., 2001, Applicability of a high-pressure digestion technique to the analysis of sediment and soil samples by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, Analytica Chimica Acta 431, 195-207.

Parrish, C., Abrajano, T., et al. (2000) Lipid and Phenolic Biomarkers in Marine Ecosystems: Analysis and Applications, in HANDBOOK OF ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMISTRY Vol. 5 Part D Marine Chemistry, Wangersky, P., Ed., Springer-Verlag Berlin.

Abrajano, T.A. and Sherwood Lollar, B. (1999) Compound specific isotope analysis: tracing organic contaminant sources and processes in geochemical systems. Special Issue of Organic Geochemistry, v 30 (n 8A): v-vii (Introductory Note).

Dayan, H., Abrajano, T.A., Sturchio, N. C., and Winsor, L. (1999) Carbon isotopic fractionation during reductive dehalogenation of chlorinated ethenes by metallic iron. Organic Geochemistry v 30 (n 8A): 755-764.

Aksu, A.E., Abrajano, T.A., Mudie, P. and Yasar, D. (1999) Organic geochemical and palynological evidence for terrigenous origin of organic matter in the Aegean Sea Sapropel S1. Marine Geology 153, 303-318.

Huang, L., N.C. Sturchio, Abrajano, T.A. et.al. (1999) Carbon and chlorine isotope fractionation of chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons by evaporation. Organic Geochemistry v 30 (n 8A): 777-786.

Heraty, L.,, M.E. Fuller, Huang, L., Abrajano, T.A. and N. Sturchio. (1999) Isotopic fractionation of carbon and chlorine by microbial degradation of dichloromethane. Organic Geochemistry v 30 (n 8A): 793-800.

Stehmeier, L. G., Francis, M. McD, Jack, T. R., Diegor, E., Winsor, L., and Abrajano, T.A. (1999) Field and in vitro evidence for in-situ bioremediation using compound-specific 13C/12C ratio monitoring. Organic Geochemistry v 30 (n 8A): 821-834.

Abrajano, T.A., Bieger, T. and, Hellou, J. (1998) Reply to Grossi and de Leeuw, Organic Geochemistry 28, 137.

Pelayo, A.M. and Abrajano, T.A. (1998) Understanding generic soil clean: implications on agricultural chemicals, J. Soil Contamination v 7, 357-370.

Smirnov, A., Abrajano, T. A., Sminov, A., and Stark, A. (1998) Distribution and sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the sediments of Lake Erie, Part 1. Spatial distribution, transport, and deposition. Organic Geochemistry 29(5-7):1813-1828.

Sturchio, N. C., Clausen, J. L., Heraty, L. J., Huang, L, Holt, B. D., and Abrajano, T. A. (1998) Chlorine isotope investigation of natural attenuation of trichloroethene in an aerobic aquifer. Environmental Science and Technology 32(20):3037-3042.

Bieger, T., Abrajano, T. A., and Hellou, J. (1997) Generation of biogenic hydrocarbons during a spring bloom in NW Atlantic waters. Organic Geochemistry 26:207-218.

Pulchan, J. Abrajano, T. A. and Helleur, R. (1997) Characterization of tetramethylammonium hydroxide thermochemolysis products of near-shore marine sediments using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and gas chromatography/combustion/isotope ratio mass spectrometry, Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, 40 (2), 135-150.

Holt, B. D., Sturchio, N. C., and Abrajano, T. A. (1997) High-temperature method for conversion of chlorinated organic compounds to methyl chloride and CO2 for isotopic analysis of chlorine and carbon. Analytical Chemistry 69:2727-2733.

O'Malley, V., Abrajano, T. A., and Hellou, J. (1996) Isotopic apportionment of individual polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon sources in St. Johns Harbour. Environmental Science and Technology 30:634-638.

Bieger, T. Hellou, J. and Abrajano, T. A., Petroleum Biomarkers as Tracers of Lubricating Oil Contamination, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 32, Issue 3, March 1996, Pages 270-274

O'Malley, V., Abrajano, T. A., Stark, A., Hellou, J., Smith, J., and Winsor, L. (1996) Tracing polycyclic aromatic compounds in the environment using 13C/12C ratios. Journal of Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds 9:93-100.

Abrajano, T. A., Murphy, D. E., Fang, J., Comet, P., Brooks, J., and MacDonald, I. (1994) 13C/12C ratios in fatty acids in marine mytilids with or without bacterial symbionts. Organic Geochemistry 21(6-7):611-617.

O'Malley, V., Abrajano, T. A., and Hellou, J. (1994) Determination of 13C/12C ratios of individual PAH from environmental samples: can PAH sources be apportioned? Organic Geochemistry 21(6-7):809-822.

Abrajano, T. A., O'Malley, V., Hellou, J., and Eakin, P. (1993) Compound-specific carbon isotope analysis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from estuarine environments in Organic Geochemistry, Ostgard, K., ed., Falch Hurtugtrykk, Norway 649-657.

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