Robert Rhew

Assistant Professor
Ph.D. Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD, 2001

Link to Rhew Lab Research Page

Interests: terrestrial-atmosphere exchange of trace gases, atmospheric chemistry and composition, halogen biogeochemistry, stratospheric ozone depletion issues, Arctic change

Although trace gases constitute less than 1% of the composition of the atmosphere, they are compounds that regulate the Earth’s greenhouse effect, the balance of stratospheric ozone, and most of the chemical reactions in the atmosphere. In our trace gas biogeochemistry lab, we seek to quantify the biosphere-atmosphere exchange of environmentally important trace gases and to identify the physical and biological controls on those fluxes. We conduct our work in a wide range of natural and human-dominated ecosystems, including Arctic tundra, temperate grasslands, salt-affected lands, arid and semi-arid shrublands, boreal forest, temperate forest, and tropical ecosystems. This work will help to quantify globally significant sources and sinks, to assess the atmospheric lifetimes of these compounds (how long these compounds persist in the atmosphere), and to elucidate key biogeochemical processes that occur in nature.

We focus on halogen, sulfur, and carbon containing compounds that catalyze ozone destruction;
influence the radiative energy balance of the planet; and/or act as proxies or byproducts of important ecosystem processes. This work is very interdisciplinary, involving the tools of analytical and atmospheric chemistry, soil geochemistry and microbiology, plant biology and genetics, ecosystem ecology and physical geography. Consequently, our laboratory invites the participation of students from a wide variety of backgrounds.

If you are interested in conducting graduate or post-doctoral research in atmospheric biogeochemistry, please contact me at:

Recent publications include:
Rhew, R.C., B.R. Miller, and R.F. Weiss, Chloroform, carbon tetrachloride and methyl chloroform fluxes in southern California ecosystems, Atmospheric Environment, doi: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2008/05/038 (2008).

Rhew, R. C. and T. Abel. Measuring simultaneous production and consumption fluxes of methyl chloride and methyl bromide in annual temperate grasslands. Environmental Science & Technology, 41, p. 7837-7843, doi: 10.1021/es0711011 (2007).

Rhew, R. C., Y. A. Teh, and T. Abel, Methyl halide and methane fluxes in the northern Alaskan coastal tundra, Journal of Geophysical Research, 112, G02009, doi:10.1029/2006JG000314 (2007).

Rhew, R. C., L. Østergaard, E. S. Saltzman, and M. F. Yanofsky, Genetic control of methyl halide production in Arabidopsis, Current Biology, Vol. 13, 1809-1813 (2003).

Rhew, R.C., M. Aydin, and E.S. Saltzman, Measuring terrestrial fluxes of methyl chloride and methyl bromide using a stable isotope tracer technique, Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 30, no. 21, 2103, doi: 10.1029/2003GL018160, (Nov. 7, 2003)..

Rhew, R. C., B. R. Miller, M. Bill, A. H. Goldstein, and R. F. Weiss, Environmental and biological controls on methyl halide emissions from southern California coastal salt marshes, Biogeochemistry, Vol. 60, 141-161 (2002).

Bill, M., R. C. Rhew, R. F. Weiss, and A. H. Goldstein, Carbon isotopic ratios of methyl bromide and methyl chloride emitted from a coastal salt marsh, Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 29 (4), 10.1029/2001GL012946 (2002).

Rhew, R. C., B. R. Miller, M. K. Vollmer, and R. F. Weiss, Shrubland fluxes of methyl bromide and methyl chloride, Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 106, 20,875-20,882 (2001).

Rhew, R. C., B. R. Miller, and R. F. Weiss, Natural methyl bromide and methyl chloride emissions from coastal salt marshes, Nature, Vol. 403, 292-295 (2000).

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