The Hamersley Environmental Microbiology Laboratory

Analytical Facilities and Capabilities



Principal Investigator: M. Robert Hamersley, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Environmental Microbiology



Sediment characteristics

Chlorophyll and pheophytin (fluorometry)


Microprofiles (oxygen, pH, nitrous oxide, etc., by microsensor)

Organic carbon (Pregl-Dumas)

Organic nitrogen (Pregl-Dumas)


Sediment processes (benthic chambers or in vitro)

Carbon dioxide flux (gas chromatography)

Denitrification (N2 flux)

Methane flux (gas chromatography)

Nitrogen fixation (acetylene block and 15N2 uptake)

Nitrous oxide flux (gas chromatography)

Nutrient and micronutrient fluxes Oxygen flux (gas chromatography)

Water-column processes

Hydrological flow characterization (rhodamine dye tracer)

Primary production (13C uptake [UC Davis])

Nitrogen fixation (acetylene block and 15N2 uptake)

Tidal flux/ depth (Onset data logger)


Water quality and sediment parameters

Ammonium (salycilate)

Chlorophyll a/ Pheophytin (fluorescence)

Conductivity/ total dissolved solids (electrode)

Dissolved organic nitrogen (persulfate digestion)

Dissolved carbon dioxide (infrared)

Dissolved oxygen (electrode and Winkler)

Metals (toxic and micronutrient)

Nitrate (chemiluminescence detection and cadmium reduction)

Nitrite (Greiss)

Orthophosphate (molybdate)

Particulate organic carbon (Pregl-Dumas)

Particulate organic nitrogen (Pregl-Dumas)

pH (electrode)

Total phosphorus (acid digestion)

Total solids (dessication)

Total suspended solids (filtration)

Biomass (combustion or digestion)

Organic carbon Organic nitrogen Metals

Total phosphorus

Instrumentation and Equipment

Bench Instrumentation
  • Chemiluminescence detector, Teledyne 200E
  • Elemental CHNS analyzer, Perkin Elmer 2400II
  • Fluorometer, Turner Trilogy
  • Gas Chromatography (Greenhouse and permanent gasses, Bruker 450-GC; Flame ionization detection, Shimadzu Mini-2)
  • Infrared CO2 analyzer, Milton Roy
  • Spectrophotometry (Atomic absorption spectrophotometer, Perkin Elmer AAnalyst 200; UV-Vis, Thermo Scientific)
  • Unisense microsensor microprofiling system
Field Instrumentation
  • Handheld (Oxygen meter, YSI; pH meters, Thermo Scientific conductivity meter, Thermo Scientific; electromagnetic water velocity meter, Marsh-McBirney FlowMate)
  • Dataloggers (Depth and temperature loggers, Onset)
Other equipment
  • Centrifuges
  • Furnaces
  • Incubators and incubation baths
  • Lyophylization system, Labconco
  • Ovens
  • Shaker tables
  • Ultracold freezers
  • Ultramicrobalance, Perkin Elmer AD-6
  • Vacuum Centrifuge, Labconco Centrivap


Collaborating laboratories and institutions, current

Back Bay Science Center

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech

Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen, Germany

Orange County Watershed Education Center

Southern California Marine Institute UC Davis Stable Isotope Facility

UCLA Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

University of Southern California Department of Marine Environmental Biology USC Wrigley Center for Environmental Studies