The Trichodesmium Page

Cruise planning for MP09 (July-August 2003)

Pictures from MP08/APR03ATL April 2003 Cruise

Pictures from GEOL388-2003 Class on the R/V Oceanus - January 2003

Pictures from SEP02PAC cruise on the R/V Kilo Moana - September 2002

MAR02BR - PIRATA Cruise Pictures

Pictures from 2004 Remote Sensing Class in Chile

Argentine Continental Shelf Images - ACDM - Chl

MP1 and MP3 SeaWiFS 8 Day Composite Images with cruise track

I am interested in the use of remote sensing, ocean optics, phytoplankton physiology, biological and physical oceanography and geographical information systems to better understand how the marine ecosystem works and can be managed. To this end, I have worked closely with biological and chemical oceanographers and ecosystem modelers, placing in-situ shipboard measurements on a broader basin-scale or global context and complementing model results with remote sensing [Capone et al. 1997, Carpenter et al. 1999, Hood et al. 2001].  I have collaborated with molecular ecologists to apply remote sensing to study population structure of cetaceans [Mendez et al 2010; Mendez et al 2011]. I was a part of a five-year study of the Amazon River plume and its effect on the Tropical North Atlantic Ocean [Subramaniam et al. 2008]. My specific interest has been to develop thought models that can explain why a particular phytoplankton species blooms where it does, what are the factors that cause the bloom, that lead to its demise and the consequences of these blooms.  I have worked on developing algorithms for the remote sensing of Trichodesmium using SeaWiFS data [Subramaniam et al 2002; Westberry et al 2005]. For more details of my work on Trichodesmium please go to the "definitive" Trichodesmium home page .   I am also interested in using bio-optics and remote sensing as tools for monitoring coastal water quality and worked with the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority to use daily synoptic time series of water quality at a sewage outfall site in Massachusetts Bay. I have worked on developing and validating Ocean Color algorithms for the U.S. East coast, focusing on Massachusetts Bay and the South Atlantic Bight, in order to study the dynamics of terrestrially derived colored dissoloved organic matter [Del Vecchio et al. 2009].   I am currently interested in studying the impact of tropical rivers on the marine ecosystem, specifically looking at their role in introducing new nitrogen into the oceans.  For my personal home page, click here .


Greg, Ajit, and Piotr milking the CTD in 1996; Ajit, KMC, and Joe holding down the CTD 2010

Contact Information

Ajit Subramaniam

Lamont Associate Research Professor

Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University

3 Marine Biology/LDEO

61 Rt 9 W

Palisades, NY 10964

Tel: +1.845.365.8641

Fax: +1.845.365.8150

Abbreviated Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D. in Coastal Oceanography. 1995. SUNY at Stony Brook. 
"Optical Properties of the Marine Cyanobacteria Trichodesmium: Applications to Remote Sensing" 

M.S. in Marine Environmental Science. 1989. SUNY at Stony Brook. 
"Linking Maps to Spreadsheet-based Coastal Zone Information Systems" 

B.Sc. (Special) in Physics. 1984. The American College, Madurai, India. 


Sohm, J.A, A. Subramaniam, T. Gunderson, E.J. Carpenter, and D.G. Capone (2011). Nitrogen fixation by Trichodesmium spp. and unicellular diazotrophs in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeoscience. Vol. 116. doi:10.1029/2010JG001513

Dippner, J.W., L. Nguyen-Ngoc, H. Doan-Nhu, A. Subramaniam (2011) A model for the prediction of harmful algae blooms in the Vietnamese upwelling area.  Harmful Algae. doi:10.1016/j.hal.2011.04.012.

Mendez, M., A. Subramaniam, T. Collins, G. Minton, R. Baldwin, P. Berggren, A. Sarnblad, O.A. Amir, V.M. Peddemors, L. Karczmarski, A. Guissamulo, and H.C. Rosenbaum (2011). Molecular ecology meets remote sensing: environmental drivers to population structure of humpback dolphins in the Western Indian Ocean. Heredity. DOI 10.1038/hdy.2011.21.

Mendez, M., H. Rosenbaum, A. Subramaniam, C. Yackulic, and P. Bordino (2010). Isolation by environmental distance in cetaceans: molecular ecology of franciscana dolphins at their southern range. Molecular Ecology. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2010.04647.x

Foster, R.A., A. Subramaniam, Z.P. Zehr. (2009). Distribution and activity of diazotrophy in the Eastern Equatorial Atlantic (Gulf of Guinea). doi:10.1111/j.1462-2920.2008.01796.x Environmental Microbiology. 11(4), 741-750. Foster2008EnvMicro

Del Vecchio, R., A. Subramaniam, S. Schollaert Uz, J. Ballabrera Poi, CW. Brown, and NV. Blough. (2009) Decadal time-series of SeaWiFS retrieved CDOM absorption and estimates of CO2 photoproduction on the continental shelf of the Eastern United States. Geophysical Research Letters 36 L02602, doi:10.1029/2008GL036169.

Subramaniam, A., PL. Yager, EJ. Carpenter, C. Mahaffey, K. Björkman, S. Cooley, AB. Kustka, JP. Montoya, SA. Sañudo-Wilhelmy, R. Shipe, & DG. Capone. (2008) Amazon River enhances diazotrophy and carbon sequestration in the tropical North Atlantic Ocean. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 105:10460-10465. Subramaniam2008PNAS

Zeng, N., J-H. Yoon, J.A. Marengo, A. Subramaniam, C.A. Nobre, A. Mariotti, J.D. Neelin (2008).  Causes and impacts

of the 2005 Amazon drought.  Environmental Research Letters 3 doi:10.1088/1748-9326/3/1/014002.

Cooley, S.R., V.J. Coles, A. Subramaniam, P.L. Yager (2007).  Seasonal variations in the Amazon plume-related atmospheric carbon sink. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 21 (GB3014), doi:10.1029/2006GB002831.

P.V. Sundareshwar and 28 others in alphabetical order including A. Subramaniam. (2007) Environmental Monitoring Network for India.  Science. 316:204-205.

Foster, R.A., A. Subramaniam, C, Mahaffey, E.J. Carpenter, D.G. Capone, J.P. Zehr. (2007) Influence of the Amazon River plume on distributions of free-living and symbiotic cyanobacteria in the western tropical north Atlantic Ocean.  Limnology and Oceanography, 52:517-532.

Tzortziou, M., A. Subramaniam, J.R. Herman, C.L. Gallegos, P.J. Neale, L.W. Harding (2007) Remote Sensing Reflectance and Inherent Optical Properties in the Mid Chesapeake Bay. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. doi:10.1016/j.ecss.2006.09.018.

Shipe, R. F., J. Curtaz, A. Subramaniam, E.J Carpenter, D.G. Capone (2006). Diatom biomass and productivity in oceanic and plume influenced waters of the western tropical Atlantic ocean. Deep Sea Research Part I. Vol. 53 1320-1334.

Lutz, V.A., A. Subramaniam, R.M. Negri, R.I. Silva, J.I. Carreto (2006) Annual variations in bio-optical properties at the 'Estación Permanente Estudios Ambientales (EPEA)' coastal station, Argentina.  Continental Shelf Research. Vol 26 1093-1112.

Tzortziou, M. J.R. Herman, C.L. Gallegos, P.J. Neale, A. Subramaniam, L.W. Harding, Z. Ahmad. (2006). Bio-optics of the Chesapeake Bay from Measurements and Radiative transfer closure.  Estuarine and Coastal Shelf Science Vol. 68 348-362.

Westberry, T.K, D.A Siegel, A. Subramaniam (2005) An improved bio-optical model for the remote sensing of

Trichodesmium spp. blooms.  Journal of Geophysical Research Vol. 110 C06012 doi:10.1029/2004JC002517.

Capone, D.G., J.A. Burns, J.P. Montoya, A. Subramaniam, C. Mahaffey, T. Gunderson, A.F. Michaels.  (2005) Nitrogen fixation by Trichodesmium spp.: An important source of new nitrogen to the tropical and subtropical North Atlantic

Ocean. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Vol. 19, GB2024, doi:10.1029/2004GB002331

Capone, D.G. and A. Subramaniam (2005) ”Seeing Microbes from Space” American Society of Microbiology News

Del Vecchio, R. and A. Subramaniam (2004) Influence of the Amazon River on the surface optical properties of the Western Tropical North Atlantic Ocean. Journal of Geophysical Research. 109, C11001, doi:10.1029/2004JC002503.

J.L. Hand, N.M. Mahowald, Y. Chen, R.L. Siefert, C. Luo, A. Subramaniam, and I. Fung (2004)  Estimates of atmospheric-processed soluble iron from observations and a global mineral aerosol model: Biogeochemical implications.  Journal of Geophysical Research. DOI 10.1029/2004JD004574.

Knobelspiesse, K. D., C. Pietras, G. S. Fargion, M. Wang, R. Frouin, M. A. Miller, A. Subramaniam and W. M. Balch (2004). "Maritime aerosol optical thickness measured by handheld sun photometers." Remote Sensing of Environment. 93 Pp 87-106.

Carpenter, E.J., A. Subramaniam, D.G. Capone. (2004). Biomass and primary productivity of the cyanobacterium, Trichodesmium spp., in the tropical N Atlantic Ocean. Deep Sea Research I 51: 173-203.

Subramaniam, A., R. R. Hood, C. W. Brown, E. J. Carpenter and D. G. Capone (2002). “Detecting Trichodesmium Blooms in SeaWiFS Imagery.”  Deep-Sea Research Part II Vol. 49/1-3 Pp 107-121.

Hood, R. R., A. Subramaniam, L. R. May, E. J. Carpenter and D. G. Capone (2002). “Remote Estimation of Nitrogen Fixation by Trichodesmium.”  Deep-Sea Research Part II Vol. 49/1-3 Pp 123-147

Dupouy C., Neveux J., Subramaniam A., Mulholland M.R., Montoya J.P., Campbell L., Capone D.G., and Edward J. Carpenter. (2000). Satellite captures Trichodesmium blooms in the South Western Tropical Pacific Ocean.  EOS:

Transactions: American Geophysical Union Vol. 81:2. January 11. 2000.

Carpenter, E.J, J.P. Montoya, J. Burns, M.R. Mulholland, A. Subramaniam, and D.G. Capone (1999).  Extensive bloom

of a N2 fixing symbiotic association in the tropical Atlantic Ocean.  Marine Ecology Progress Series. Vol.185:273-283.

Subramaniam, A, E.J. Carpenter, D. Karentz and P.G. Falkowski. (1999) Optical properties of the marine diazotrophic cyanobacteria Trichodesmium; I - Absorption and spectral photosynthetic characteristics. Limnology and Oceanography.  Vol.44:3 Pp. 618-627. Subramaniam1999aL&O

Subramaniam, A, E.J. Carpenter and P.G. Falkowski. (1999) Optical properties of the marine diazotrophic cyanobacteria Trichodesmium; II - A reflectance model for remote-sensing.  Limnology and Oceanography.  Vol.44:3 Pp 628-638.  Subramaniam1999bL&O

Capone, D.G., A. Subramaniam, J.P. Montoya, M. Voss, C. Humborg, F. Pollehne, and E.J. Carpenter. (1998). An extensive bloom of the diazotrophic cyanobacterium, Trichodesmium erythraem, in the central Arabian Sea during the spring intermonsoon. Marine Ecology Progress Series. Vol.172:281-292.

Subramaniam, A and E.J. Carpenter. (1994) An Initial Protocol to Identify Trichodesmium Blooms in CZCS Imagery.  International Journal of Remote Sensing, Vol.15:8 Pp. 1559-1569.

Vieira, M.E.C., A. Subramaniam and H.J. Bokuniewicz. (1992) "Plume Dispersion of Dilute Suspensions: A model of barge overflow adapted for use in a personal computer". Wat. Sci. Tech. Vol.25:9, Pp. 173-179.

Maheswaran, S., B.K Rangaraj, R.P Riesz, V.Sriram and A. Subramaniam. (1984) "Plastic optics for laboratory use".  The Journal of Optics 1984, Vol.13:2  Pp58-59.