Dr. Michael Gonsior

Time-resolved photodegradation of natural colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) and contaminants in fresh- and marine waters using a custom-designed photodegradation system

Dr. Michael Gonsior, Assistant Professor
Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

*The organization and the title are those when awarded

Research summary

Dissolved organic matter is often measured as a representative indicator for surface and marine water quality because it influences many important biological and chemical processes. For the light absorbing colored or chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) in water, photochemistry is one of the most important natural CDOM degradation mechanisms. Dr. Gonsior has recently developed an advanced photodegradation system that can achieve semi-continuous measurements of CDOM optical properties during illumination with precisely controlled solar simulated light. Using this custom-built system, he has investigated the photochemical decay of CDOM and pollutants in fresh- and marine waters. The results have shown for the first time kinetics of time-resolved optical property changes of CDOM and relationships between CDOM and other water quality indicators as a function of photodegradation. This evaluation method for dissolved organic matter, which is closely related to the environment and ecosystem well-being, is expected to provide important beneficial information about the conservation and improvement of water quality.