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Dr. Rainer Amon
Rainer Amon
(409) 740-4719
(409) 740-4787
TAMU Galveston Marine Sciences
Texas A&M University at Galveston 
P.O. Box 1675 
Galveston, Texas 77553

  • Ph.D., Marine Science, University of Texas at Austin, USA, 1995
  • M.S., Zoology/Marine Biology, Unviversity of Vienna, Austria, 1990
  • B.S., Biology, University of Vienna, Austria, 1986

Rainer Amon


Research Interests

Biogeochemistry of organic matter in large rivers  
High latitude watersheds store vast amounts of organic carbon in form of permafrost and peat soils. It is believed that with warmer climate conditions significant portions of this organic carbon will be released as carbon dioxide to the atmosphere or as dissolved organic and inorganic carbon to the rivers. We study the chemical composition and biological processing of organic matter in high latitude rivers to better understand the effects of climate change for the mobilization of carbon currently stored in these watersheds.

Dissolved organic matter in the Arctic Ocean
The Arctic Ocean is one of the most vulnerable systems of our planet in terms of climate change. Sea ice extend during summer has decreased by 45% over the last 30 years. We study the distribution of dissolved organic matter as a tracer for water masses and carbon cycling in the Arctic in order to improve our understanding of the rapid changes observed in the recent past.

The role of sea ice formation for the distribution of dissolved materials in the Arctic Ocean
Sea ice formation in the Arctic plays a fundamental role for the vertical stratification of the water column and the distribution and fate of dissolved matter because salt and most other dissolved species are excluded from the ice matrix. We conduct laboratory experiments and in situ surveys to better our understanding of the fractionation processes happening during sea ice formation and sea ice melt. 

Water quality issues in the urban watershed of Houston
For the last 20 or so years urban water bodies in Houston, Tx have been plagued by bacterial contamination rendering theses urban waters unfit for recreational use. We use organic and isotopic tracers in order to investigate the cause for the long term contamination in these waters hoping to identify a source that can be remediated on a fairly short time scale.

The use of autonomous underwater vehicle (Slocum Glider), paired with in situ sensors for coupled physical and biogeochemical studies in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM).
We recently acquired an autonomous underwater vehicle equipped with a variety of sensors to study hydrography, turbulence, optical properties, and oxygen concentrations. The glider will be used, for example, to study the relationship of physical mixing and biological responses, the water column stratification before and after hurricanes, and oil pollution in the GoM.

Selected Publications

Fichot, C. G., K. Kaiser, S. B. Hooker, R. M. W. Amon, M. Babin, S. Bélanger, S. A. Walker, and Ronald Benner (2013). Pan-Arctic distributions of continental runoff in the Arctic Ocean. Scientific Reports3, Article number: 1053 doi:10.1038/srep01053

Granskog, M. A., C. A. Stedmon, P. A. Dodd, R. M. W. Amon, A. K. Pavlov, L. de Steur, and E. Hansen (2012), Characteristics of colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) in the Arctic outflow in the Fram Strait: Assessing the changes and fate of terrigenous CDOM in the Arctic Ocean, J. Geophys. Res., 117, C12021, doi:10.1029/2012JC008075

Amon RMW, A.J. Rinehart, S. Duan, P. Louchouarn, P. Raymond, R.M. Holmes, J.W. McClelland, BJ Peterson, G. Guggenberger, A. Prokushkin, C. Stedmon, S.A.Walker. (2012). Dissolved organic matter sources in large Arctic rivers. GCA 94: 217-237: doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2012.07.015

Prokushkin, A.S., O.S. Pokrovsky, L.S. Shirokova, M.A. Korets, J. Viers, S.G. Prokushkin, R.M.W.Amon, G. Guggenberger and W.H. McDowell(2011). Sources and the flux pattern of dissolved carbon in rivers of the Yenisey basin draining the Central Siberian Plateau. Environ. Res. Lett. 6(2011) 045212 (14pp) doi:10.1088/1748-9326/6/4/045212.

Stedmon C.A, R.M.W. Amon, A.J. *Rhinehart, S.A. *Walker (2011). The supply and characteristics of colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) in the Arctic Ocean. (2011). Marine Chemistry 124: 108–118

Xu, C., Santschi, P.H., Hung,C.-C., Zhang,S., Schwehr,K,A.,Roberts,K.A., Guo, L.D., Gong, G.-C., Quigg, A., Long, R., Pinckney, J.,Duan, S.W., Amon, R., and Wei, C.L. (2011). Controls of Th-234 removal from the oligotrophic ocean by polyuronic acids and microbial activity.Marine Chemistry, 123, 111-126, doi:10.1016/j.marchem.2010.10.005.

*Duan, S.W., R. Amon, T. S. Bianchi and P. H. Santschi (2011). Temperature Control on Soluble Reactive Phosphorus in the Lower Mississippi River? Estuaries and Coasts  34 (1): 78-89.

*Duan, S., T.S. Bianchi, P.S. Santschi, R.M.W. Amon. (2010). Effects of tributary inputs on nutrient export from the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers to the Gulf of Mexico. Marine and Freshwater Research. 61, 1029-1038.

Louchouarn P., R.M.W. Amon, S. Duan, C. Pondell, S.M. Seward, and N. White. (2010). Analysis of lignin-derived phenols in standard reference materials and dissolved organic matter by gas chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. Marine Chemistry. Vol. 118, 85–97.

*Walker, S. A., R. M. W. Amon, et al. (2009). "The use of PARAFAC modeling to trace terrestrial dissolved organic matter and fingerprint water masses in coastal Canadian Arctic surface waters." J. Geophys. Res. 114: doi:10.1029/2009jg000990.

Crump, B. C., B. J. Peterson, P. A. Raymond, R. M. W. Amon, A. *Rinehart, J. W. McClelland, and R. M. Holmes. 2009. Circumpolar Synchrony in Big River Bacterioplankton. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 106(50): 21208–21212.

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