Mary and Watts Hill, Jr. Distinguished Professor
Director of Graduate Studies
3117J Murray Hall CB#3300, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3300
Google Scholar Profile
Ph.D., North Carolina State, 1986
Transformation and Fate of Particulate Materials; Marsh Accretion Rates in Coastal North Carolina and the Response of Coastal Wetlands to Sea-level Rise; Response of Bay-head Deltas to Sea-level rise (Roanoke and Newport Rivers, NC)
Research and Activities
The overarching focus of my research is on land-ocean interactions and global change. I am interested in the role of Major Rivers (Amazon, Changjiang, Huanghe, Orinoco, Danube, Columbia, Mississippi) in global biogeochemical cycles and global change. Rivers are the primary interface between continental and oceanic environments and play a critical role in global cycles such as carbon.
Recent projects in the McKee lab are:
- Examining the transformation and fate of particulate materials within the lower Amazon River—carbon, nutrients, trace elements.
- Determining marsh accretion rates in coastal North Carolina and the response of coastal wetlands to sea-level rise.
- Response of bay-head deltas to sea-level rise (Roanoke and Newport Rivers, NC)—with Tony Rodriguez at IMS.
Other Activities and Research
- The transformation and fate of terrestrial materials (carbon, nutrients, trace elements) within river systems and in adjacent coastal margins.
- The role of tidal freshwater zones within rivers in controlling the flux of riverine materials to the ocean.
- The use of naturally-occurring radioisotopes to determine the rates and pathways for biogeochemical processes
- Diagenetic sedimentary processes in coastal environments
- Determination of weathering rates within river basins using uranium isotope tracers
- Examination of high-resolution sedimentary records of Earth history that are preserved in river margin environments.