Coupled sulfur and iron cycling in Pescadero estuary: A multi-disciplinary investigation into an annual fish kill

The largest coastal watershed between the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and Santa Cruz, CA, Pescadero is a critical, complex habitat and intermittent estuary for a diversity of animals; however, fish kill events have been occurring at Pescadero since 1995. In recent years, these events have been more severe and regular than in nearby intermittent estuaries in California and are strongly tied to sulfur redox cycling. With connections to deteriorating water quality, this research focuses on microbial sulfate reduction to hydrogen sulfide and sulfide oxidation from reduced iron sulfides in order to develop an integrated and comprehensive understanding of the geochemical and biological interactions in the Pescadero Estuary. (Collaboration with S. Carlson and M. Stacey, UC Berkeley)