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Peter Lee

Research Associate, College of Charleston

Address: Hollings Marine Laboratory, 331 Fort Johnson Rd., Charleston, SC 29412
Phone: 843.460.9785


Ph.D. (Oceanography), 2000, Université du Québec à Rimouski, Canada

B.Sc., M.S. (Hons, Chemistry), 1991, University of Auckland, New Zealand

Research Interests

  • Sulfur biogeochemistry, climate change impacts on marine phytoplankton, algal community structure and biogenic sulfur production; application of sea-going mass spectrometry “-omics” technologies to phytoplankton ecophysiology, microbial oceanography and sulfur biogeochemistry

Current research projects

  • the role of vitamin B12 of the marine environment and specifically, the biogeochemistry of the climatically important compound dimethylsulfide and its precursor dimethylsulfoniopropionate

  • the application of Membrane Inlet Mass Spectrometry (MIMS) and Proton-Reaction-Transfer Mass Spectrometry (PTR-MS) to the determination of gases and volatile organic compounds in aquatic environments

  • environmental Proteomics and Metabolomics: Developing and linking “omics” tools to classical approaches in biogeochemistry to better understand biogenic sulfur production in marine microbes

  • developing experimental methodologies and technologies for assessing the impact of climate change variables on lower trophic level organisms

  • applying mass spectrometric, proteomic and metabolomics tools along with the study of aquatic biogeochemistry and formation of volatile organic compounds by aquatic microbes to astrobiology and the detection of extant organisms on other worlds


  • Barak-Gavish N, Frada MJ, Ku C, Lee PA, DiTullio GR, Malitsky S, Aharoni A, Green SJ, Rotkopf R, Kartvelishvily E, Sheyn U, Schatz D, Vardi A. 2018. Bacterial virulence against an oceanic bloom-forming phytoplankter is mediated by algal DMSP. Science Advances 4(10), eaau5716  doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau5716

  • Mikucki JA, Lee PA, Ghosh D, Purcell AM, Mitchell AC, Mankoff KD, Fischer AT, Tulaczyk S, Carter S, Siegfried M, Fricker HA, Hodson T, Coen J, Powell R, Scherer R, Vick-Majors T, Achberger AA, Christner BC, Tranter M, and the WISSARD Science Team. 2016. Subglacial Lake Whillans Microbial Biogeochemistry: A synthesis of current knowledge. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences 374: 20140290. doi: 10.1098/rsta.2014.0290

  • Lee PA, Bertrand EM, Saito MA, DiTullio GR. 2015.Influence of vitamin B12 availability on oceanic dimethylsulfide and dimethylsulfoniopropionate. Environmental Chemistry doi: 10.1071/EN15043

  • Boroujerdi AFB, Lee PA, DiTullio GR, Janech MG, Vied SB, Bearden DW. 2012. Identification of Isethionic Acid and other small molecule metabolites in Fragilariopsis cylindrus by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance.  Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry. 404:777-784 doi: 10.1007/s00216-012-6169-2

  • Lyon BR, Lee PA, Bennett JM, DiTullio GR, Janech MG. 2011. Proteomic analysis of a sea-ice diatom; Salinity acclimation provides new insights into the dimethylsulfoniopropionate production pathway. Plant Physiology. doi: 10.1104/pp.111.185025

  • Bertrand EM, Saito MA, Lee PA, Dunbar R, Sedwick PN, DiTullio GR. 2011. Iron limitation of a springtime bacterial and phytoplankton community in the Ross Sea: implications for vitamin B12 nutrition. Frontiers in Aquatic Microbiology doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2011.00160

  • Lee PA, Riseman SF, Hutchins DA, Hare CE, Leblanc K, DiTullio GR. 2011. Potential impact of increased temperature and CO2 on particulate DMSP in the Bering Sea. Advances in Oceanography and Limnology. 2:33-47. doi: 10.1080/19475721.2011.574433

  • Feng Y, Hare CE, Rose JM, Handy SM, DiTullio GR, Lee PA, Smith Jr WO, Peloquin J, Tozzi S, Sun J, Zhang Y, Dunbar RB, Long MC, Sohst B, Lohan M, Hutchins DA. 2010. Interactive effects of iron, irradiance and CO2, on Ross Sea phytoplankton. Deep-Sea Research I 57:368-383

  • Rose JM, Feng Y, DiTullio GR, Dunbar R, Hare CE, Lee PA, Lohan M, Long M, Smith Jr WO, Sohst B, Tozzi S, Zhang Y, Hutchins DA. 2009. Synergistic effects of iron and temperature on Antarctic plankton assemblages. Biogeosciences 6:3131-3147

  • Lee PA, Rudisill JR, Neeley AR, Hutchins DA, Feng Y, Hare CE, Leblanc K, Rose JM, Wilhelm SW, Rowe JM, DiTullio GR. 2009. Effects of increased pCO2 and temperature on the North Atlantic Spring Bloom. III. Dimethylsulfoniopropionate. Marine Ecology Progress Series 388:41-49
  • Feng Y, Hare CE, Leblanc K, Rose JM, Zhang Y, DiTullio GR, Lee PA, Wilhelm SW, Rowe JM, Sun J, Nemcek N, Gueguen C, Passow U, Benner I, Brown C, Hutchins DA. 2009. Effects of increased pCO2 and temperature on the North Atlantic Spring Bloom. I. The phytoplankton community and biogeochemical response. Marine Ecology Progress Series 388:13-25

  • Mikucki JA, Pearson A, Johnston DT, Turchyn AV, Farquhar J, Schrag DP, Anber AD, Priscu JC, Lee PA. 2009. A contemporary microbially-maintained subglacial ferrous ‘ocean’. Science 324:307-400