Welcome to Ajit's Home Page

                the CTD ajitkmcjoeatctd

Milking the CTD with Greg and Piotr  in 1996*

Holding down the CTD with KMC and Joe in 2010*

Last CTD Ajit & BONO

Sampling the "Last CTD" in 2015*

Deploying BONO in 2018*

I am an oceanographer who uses knowledge of remote sensing, ocean optics, phytoplankton physiology, biological and physical oceanography and geographical information systems to better understand how the marine ecosystem functions and can be managed. To this end, I have worked closely with biological, physical, and chemical oceanographers, molecular biologists, atmospheric scientists, ecosystem and climate modelers, placing in-situ shipboard measurements on a broader basin-scale or global context and complementing model results with remote sensing [e.g. Carpenter et al. 1999; Capone et al. 2005; Foster et al. 2007; Hood et al. 2002; Zeng et al. 2008, Subramaniam et al 2008, Subramaniam et al 2013].  I have also worked with conservation scientists to understand how oceanographic fronts might form barriers for migration of cetacean [e.g. Mendez et al 2013] with an eye towards understanding how conservation areas might change over time.  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]. 
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 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 served as the Program Director for the Marine Microbiology Initiative at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and a program manager in the Biological Oceanography Program at the U.S. National Science Foundation.  I have worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Services Center in Charleston, SC, the University of Maryland in College Park, MD, and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles prior to moving to Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University in New York.

For my personal home page, click here.

*Please note that I have lost track of the various photographers who took the pictures above and I apologize for not providing the appropriate credits.

Contact Information

Ajit Subramaniam

Lamont 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
ajit at ldeo.columbia.edu

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. 


Cardona, Y., A. Bracco, T.A. Villareal, A. Subramaniam, S.C. Weber, J.P. Montoya. (2016) Highly variable nutrient concentrations in the Northern Gulf of Mexico.  Deep Sea Research II. 129, 20–30. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr2.2016.04.010

Andrew A.A., R. Del Vecchio, Y. Zhang, A. Subramaniam, and N.V. Blough (2016) Are Extracted Materials Truly Representative of Original Samples? Impact of C18 Extraction on CDOM Optical and Chemical Properties. Front. Chem. 4:4. doi:10.3389/fchem.2016.00004

D’souza N.A., A. Subramaniam, A.R. Juhl, M. Hafez, A. Chekalyuk, S Phan, B. Yan, I.R. MacDonald, S.C. Weber, J.P. Montoya (2016) Elevated surface chlorophyll associated with natural oil seeps in the Gulf of Mexico. Nature Geoscience. (DOI:10.1038/ngeo2631)

Mendez M., F. Kershaw, S. Palumbi, M. Pinsky, C. Ray, H. Rosenbaum, A. Subramaniam (2014).  Marine Spatial Planning 2.0: genes and satellites to conserve seascape dynamics.  Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2533

Grimes, D.J., T.E Ford, R.R Colwell, C Baker-Austin, J Martinez-Urtaza, A Subramaniam, DG Capone (2014) Viewing Marine Bacteria, Their Activity and Response to Environmental Drivers from Orbit. Microbial Ecology. DOI 10.1007/s00248-013-0363-4

Goes, J.I., H Gomes, A.M. Chekalyuk, E.J. Carpenter, J.P. Montoya, V.J. Coles, P.L. Yager, W.M. Berelson, D.G. Capone, R.A. Foster, D.K. Steinberg, A. Subramaniam, M.A. Hafez. (2014) Influence of the Amazon River discharge on the biogeography of phytoplankton communities in the western tropical north Atlantic.  Progress In Oceanography 120:29–40.

Subramaniam, A., C. Mahaffey, W. Johns, and N. Mahowald (2013) Equatorial upwelling enhances nitrogen fixation in the Atlantic Ocean. Geophysical Research Letters, 40, 1–6, doi:10.1002/grl.50250

Dippner, J.W., D. Bombar, N. Loick-Wilde, M. Voss, and A. Subramaniam (2013) Comment on “Current separation and upwelling over the southeast shelf of Vietnam in the South China Sea” by Chen et al. Journal Of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 118, 1–6, doi:10.1002/jgrc.20118, 2013

Peloquin, J., C. Swan and 43 others in alphabetical order including A. Subramaniam (2013) The MAREDAT global database of high performance liquid chromatography marine pigment measurements, Earth System Science Data, 5(1), 109-123.

Andrew, A.A., R. Del Vecchio, A. Subramaniam, NV. Blough (2013). Chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) in the Equatorial Atlantic Ocean: Optical properties and their relation to CDOM structure and source. Marine Chemistry. 148, 33-43.

Paris, C.B., M. Le Hénaff, ZM. Aman, A. Subramaniam, J. Helgers, D-P. Wang, VH. Kourafalou, and A. Srinivasan (2012). Evolution of the Macondo Well Blowout: Simulating the Effects of the Circulation and Synthetic Dispersants on the Subsea Oil Transport. Environ. Sci. Technol. 46, 13293−13302. dx.doi.org/10.1021/es303197h

Fishman, J., LT. Iraci, and 30 others in alphabetical order including A. Subramaniam (2012) The United States’ Next Generation Of Atmospheric Composition And Coastal Ecosystem Measurements NASA’s Geostationary Coastal and Air Pollution Events (Geo -Cape) Mission. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 93 (10) 1547-1566.

Luo, Y.-W., SC. Doney, and 49 others in alphabetical order including A. Subramaniam (2012)Database of diazotrophs in global ocean: abundance, biomass and nitrogen fixation rates. Earth Syst. Sci. Data,

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.

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Dolphin Close up
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