Biogeochemistry Stream

Many of Earth’s biogeochemical cycles (such as the exchange of carbon stored in the atmosphere, oceans, biota, and bedrock) are affected by worldwide increases in human populations which drive significant land-use change. To better understand these challenges, this research stream trains student researchers in state-of-the-art techniques in both field and lab work. The research carried out by first-year students in the Biogeochemistry research stream at Binghamton University often focuses on individual watersheds as models of larger phenomena.

Biogeochemistry is cross-disciplinary in nature

Biology, Geology, Chemistry 


Biogeochemistry research intersects the traditional disciplines of Microbiology, Botany, Zoology, Ecology, Geology, Chemistry, and Environmental Studies. The research questions our FRI students investigate are in the context of understanding the complexity of Earth’s biogeochemical cycles relative to addressing today’s environmental problems.

Biogeochemistry Research Educator

Image: Dr. Jonathan Schmitkons
Dr. Jonathan Schmitkons

Dr. Jonathan Schmitkons is the Research Educator for the Biogoechemistry research stream. His research primarily focuses on surface-water and sediment biogeochemistry. Some of the questions that interest him involve the sources, transport, and fate of traffic-related pollutants and lately he and his students have been studying Green Lake in Fayetteville, NY. This lake is a perfect case study for biogeochemical cycling because its waters are naturally separated by density and never mix, it is home to unique microbial life that “breathe” sulfur instead of oxygen, and unique carbonate “reefs” (not formed by corals) rim its shores. Dr. Schmitkons especially enjoys this type of work because it combines sophisticated laboratory techniques with exciting field research experiences.