Paul Falkowski

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Paul G. Falkowski
Born 1951
Residence United States of America, Canada
Nationality American
Fields Biological oceanographer
Institutions University of Rhode Island
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Rutgers University
Alma mater City College of New York
University of British Columbia
Doctoral students Miguel Oliazola
Ajit Subramaniam
Zoe Finkel
Felisa Lauren Wolfe-Simon
Tuo Shi
Notable awards Huntsman Medal
Hutchison Prize
Vernadsky medal (EGU)
ECI Prize

Paul G. Falkowski (born 1951) is an American biological oceanographer in the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. His research work focuses on phytoplankton and primary production, and his wider interests include evolution, paleoecology, photosynthesis, biogeochemical cycles and astrobiology.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in New York City in 1951, Falkowski was educated at the City College of New York, where he received his BSc. and MSc. degrees.[1] He completed his doctoral thesis in biology and biophysics at the University of British Columbia in 1975.


After postdoctoral research at the University of Rhode Island, he moved to the Brookhaven National Laboratory in 1976 to join its newly formed oceanography department, and in 1998 he moved to Rutgers University. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1992, and was appointed as Cecil and Ida Green Distinguished Professor at the University of British Columbia in 1996.

Falkowski's research work has included studies of phytoplankton nutrient acquisition[2] and the relationships with light of both phytoplankton[3][4] and corals.[5] He has also studied the biophysical controls on ocean productivity[6] and export production,[7] and the importance of the nitrogen[8] and iron cycles[9] in ocean biogeochemistry.[10] His research has also drawn in geoengineering,[11] astrobiology,[12] and the evolution of groups including phytoplankton[13] and placental mammals.[14] He is also a coauthor, with John Raven, of the influential textbook Aquatic Photosynthesis.[15]

Awards and honours[edit]

He has been elected to a number of learned societies including the American Geophysical Union (2001), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2002) and the National Academy of Sciences (2007). He has also received a number of awards including the A.G. Huntsman Award for Excellence in the Marine Sciences (1998),[16] the G. Evelyn Hutchinson Award (2000),[17] the European Geosciences Union Vernadsky Medal (2005)[18] and the ECI Prize (2010).[19]


  1. ^ "Photosynthetic and atmospheric evolution: speaker biography". Royal Society. 2007-11-12. Retrieved 2009-12-11. 
  2. ^ Falkowski, P.G.; Stone, D.P. (1975). "Nitrate uptake in marine phytoplankton - energy-sources and interaction with carbon fixation". Mar. Biol. 32: 77–84. doi:10.1007/BF00395161. 
  3. ^ Falkowski, P.G.; Owens, T.G. (1980). "Light—Shade Adaptation : TWO STRATEGIES IN MARINE PHYTOPLANKTON". Plant Physiology. 66 (4): 592–595. doi:10.1104/pp.66.4.592. PMC 440685Freely accessible. PMID 16661484. 
  4. ^ Falkowski, P.G.; Dubinsky, Z.; Wyman, K. (1985). "Growth-irradiance relationships in phytoplankton". Limnology and Oceanography. 30 (2): 311–321. doi:10.4319/lo.1985.30.2.0311. 
  5. ^ Falkowski, P.G.; Dubinsky, Z. (1981). "Light-shade adaptation of Stylophora pistillata, a hermatypic coral from the Gulf of Eilat". Nature. 289 (5794): 172–174. Bibcode:1981Natur.289..172F. doi:10.1038/289172a0. 
  6. ^ Falkowski, P.G.; et al. (1991). "Role of eddy pumping in enhancing primary production in the ocean". Nature. 352 (6330): 55–58. Bibcode:1991Natur.352...55F. doi:10.1038/352055a0. 
  7. ^ Falkowski, P.G.; Biscaye, P.E.; Sancetta, C. (1994). "The lateral flux of biogenic particles from the eastern North-American continental-margin to the North-Atlantic Ocean". Deep-Sea Research Part II. 41 (2–3): 583–601. Bibcode:1994DSR....41..583F. doi:10.1016/0967-0645(94)90036-1. 
  8. ^ Falkowski, P.G. (1997). "Evolution of the nitrogen cycle and its influence on the biological sequestration of CO2 in the ocean". Nature. 387 (6630): 272–275. Bibcode:1997Natur.387..272F. doi:10.1038/387272a0. 
  9. ^ Behrenfeld, M.J.; et al. (1996). "Confirmation of iron limitation of phytoplankton photosynthesis in the equatorial Pacific Ocean". Nature. 383 (6600): 508–511. Bibcode:1996Natur.383..508B. doi:10.1038/383508a0. 
  10. ^ Falkowski, P.G.; Barber, R.T.; Smetacek, V. (1998). "Biogeochemical controls and feedbacks on ocean primary production". Science. 281 (5374): 200–2006. doi:10.1126/science.281.5374.200. 
  11. ^ Falkowski, P.G. (2002). "The ocean's invisible forest - Marine phytoplankton play a critical role in regulating the earth's climate. Could they also be used to combat global warming". Sci. Am. 287 (2): 54–61. PMID 12140954. 
  12. ^ Marais, D.J.D.; et al. (2003). "The NASA astrobiology roadmap". Astrobiology. 3 (2): 219–235. Bibcode:2003AsBio...3..219D. doi:10.1089/153110703769016299. PMID 14577870. 
  13. ^ Falkowski, P.G.; et al. (2004). "The evolution of modern eukaryotic phytoplankton". Science. 305 (5682): 354–360. Bibcode:2004Sci...305..354F. doi:10.1126/science.1095964. PMID 15256663. 
  14. ^ Falkowski, P.G.; et al. (2005). "The rise of oxygen over the past 205 million years and the evolution of large placental mammals". Science. 309 (5744): 2202–2204. Bibcode:2005Sci...309.2202F. doi:10.1126/science.1116047. PMID 16195457. 
  15. ^ Falkowski, P.G.; Raven, J.A. (2007). Aquatic Photosynthesis (2 ed.). Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-632-06139-1. 
  16. ^ "A.G. Huntsman Award for Excellence in Marine Science; Past Recipient, Dr. Paul Falkowski (1998)". A.G. Huntsman Foundation. 1998. Retrieved 2009-12-11. 
  17. ^ "G. Evelyn Hutchinson Award". American Society of Limnology and Oceanography. 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-11. 
  18. ^ "Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky Medal 2005". European Geosciences Union. 2005. Retrieved 2009-12-11. 
  19. ^ "ECI Prize Laureates and Their Major Scientific Achievements". Inter-Research Science Center. Retrieved 2013-05-14. 

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