Dr. Samantha Joye is the Athletic Association Professor in Arts and Sciences in the Department of Marine Sciences in the University of Georgia's Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. She is an expert in biogeochemistry and microbial ecology and works in open ocean and coastal ecosystems. Her work is interdisciplinary, bridging the fields of chemistry, microbiology, and geology.
Dr. Joye's research has been widely published in leading scientific journals, and she is regularly called upon by national and international scientific and policy agencies for expert commentary. Her work has been funded by substantial, multi-year grants from the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Gulf of Mexico Research Institute, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, among others.
In 2008 she was awarded the university's Creative Research Medal for her work assessing the impacts of climate change on biological and geological processes, particularly those involving carbon, in coastal ecosystems. Her work along the Georgia coast showed for the first time that even small changes in temperature affect the efficiency of super-sensitive microorganisms that degrade organic carbon in coastal sediments. She is also acutely interested in understanding how the rising sea levels caused by climate change may affect coastal wetlands, particularly salt, brackish, and freshwater tidal marshes.
Dr. Joye has been studying natural seepage of oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico for over fifteen years. Her research related to the 2010 Gulf oil spill zone has examined the distribution of deepwater plumes of oil and gas, and her group continues to measure the activities of the microorganisms that break down oil and gas and assess the impacts of the spill on blue water benthic and pelagic ecosystems.
Dr. Joye earned her Ph.D. in Marine Sciences from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1993 and joined the faculty of the University of Georgia in 1997, having served briefly as a research associate at San Francisco State University and an assistant professor of oceanography at Texas A&M. She was also awarded a fellowship at the Hanse Institute for Advanced Study in Delmenhorst, Germany, where she served as a visiting professor at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, in 2002-03. In 1997 and again in 1999, she served as a research fellow at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass.
- 1993, Ph.D. in Marine Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Biogeochemistry)
- 1989, M.Sc. in Marine Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Geochemistry)
- 1987, B.Sc. in Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Biogeochemical cycling of nutrients, trace metals, and organics
- Biogeochemistry of extreme environments (cold and brine seeps and saline lakes)
- Chemosynthetic-based ecosystems
- Ecosystem and geochemical modeling
- Global nitrogen cycle
- Methane production, oxidation, and fluxes
- Microbial ecology, metabolism, and physiology
- Molecular biology