- B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara, 1987
- Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz, 1993
My research interests are in zooplankton ecology and physiology, coastal and deep-sea food webs, and carbon and nutrient cycling. Much of my research program focuses on how zooplankton influence cycling of nutrients and organic matter, and how climate affects long-term change in zooplankton communities. Our laboratory has been involved in a number of projects with this theme, including the role of zooplankton vertical migration in transport of nutrients, the ecology of gelatinous zooplankton "blooms" and their affect on fluxes of organic matter, the importance of zooplankton in the cycling of dissolved organic matter, mesopelagic zooplankton and particle flux, and the effects of mesoscale eddies and a large river plume on zooplankton community structure. We are also using long-term data sets from the Western Antarctic Peninsula and the Sargasso Sea off Bermuda to study the effects of climate change on zooplankton communities, and how these community changes may affect ocean food webs and biogeochemistry. I have worked in many marine environments including coastal California, the Antarctic, the Sargasso Sea, the subtropical and subarctic North Pacific, the North Atlantic off western Europe, the Amazon River plume, and the Chesapeake Bay.
- LTER Palmer, Antarctica (PAL): Land-shelf-ocean connectivity, ecosystem resilience, and transformation in a sea-ice influenced pelagic ecosystem (NSF OPP)
- The Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study: Sustained Biogeochemical, Ecosystem, and Ocean Change Observations and Linkages in the Subtropical North Atlantic (NSF OCE)
EXPORTS: Zooplankton-Mediated Export Pathways: Quantifying Fecal Pellet Export and Active Transport by Diel and Ontogenetic Vertical Migration in the North Pacific and Atlantic Oceans (NASA)
- Steinberg, D. K., Stamieszkin, K., Maas, A. E., Durkin, C. A., Passow, U., Estapa, M. L., Omand, M.M., McDonnell, A.M.P., Karp-Boss, L., Galbraith, M., and Siegel, D. A. (2023). The outsized role of salps in carbon export in the subarctic Northeast Pacific Ocean. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 37, e2022GB007523. https://doi.org/10.1029/2022GB007523
- Behrenfeld, M.J., P. Gaube, A. DellaPenna, R. T. O’Malley, W. J. Burt, Y. Hu, P. S. Bontempi, D. K. Steinberg, E. S. Boss, D. A. Siegel, C. A. Hostetler, P. D. Tortell, & S. C. Doney (2019) Global satellite-observed daily vertical migrations of ocean animals. Nature. doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1796-9.
- Thibodeau, P. S., D. K. Steinberg, S. E. Stammerjohn, and C. Hauri (2018) Environmental controls on pteropod biogeography along the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Limnology and Oceanography. doi: 10.1002/lno.11041.
- Steinberg, D.K. and M. R. Landry (2017) Zooplankton and the ocean carbon cycle. Annu. Rev. Mar. Sci. 9: 14.1-14.32. doi: 10.1146/annurev-marine-010814-015924
- Steinberg, D.K., K. E. Ruck, M. R. Gleiber, L. M. Garzio, J. S. Cope, K. S. Bernard, S. E. Stammerjohn, O.M.E. Schofield, L. B. Quetin, and R. M. Ross (2015) Long-term (1993-2013) changes in macrozooplankton off the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Deep-Sea Research I, 101: 54-70.
- Conroy, B. J., D. K. Steinberg, M. R. Stukel, J. I. Goes, and V. J. Coles (2015) Meso- and microzooplankton grazing in the Amazon River plume and western tropical North Atlantic. Limnology and Oceanography, doi: 10.1002/lno.10261
- Stone, J.P. and D. K. Steinberg (2014) A long-term time-series study of salp population dynamics in the Sargasso Sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series.
- Steinberg, D. K., M. W. Lomas, and J. S. Cope (2012) Long-term increase in mesozooplankton biomass in the Sargasso Sea: Linkage to climate and implications for food web dynamics and biogeochemical cycling. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 26, GB1004, doi:10.1029/2010GB004026
- Condon, R. H., D. K. Steinberg, P. A. del Giorgio, T. C. Bouvier, D. A. Bronk, H. W. Ducklow (2011) Jellyfish blooms result in a major microbial respiratory sink of carbon in marine systems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1015782108.
- Saba, G. K., D. K. Steinberg, D. A. Bronk (2011) The relative importance of sloppy feeding, excretion, and fecal pellet leaching in the release of dissolved carbon and nitrogen by Acartia tonsa copepods. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 404: 47-56.
- Steinberg, D.K., B. A. S. Van Mooy, K. O. Buesseler, P. P. Boyd, T. Kobari, and D. M. Karl (2008) Bacterial vs. zooplankton control of sinking particle flux in the ocean's twilight zone. Limnology and Oceanography. 53 (4): 1327-1338.
Students and Post-Doctoral Associates
- Jack Conroy, Ph.D. student, Diel, seasonal, and interannual changes in coastal Antarctic zooplankton community composition and feeding ecology
- Andrew Corso, Ph.D. student (co-advised with Eric Hilton), The effects of climate change on Antarctic larval fishes
- Kristen Sharpe, M.S. student, Zooplankton community composition effects on fecal pellet production the York River, Chesapeake Bay
- Patricia Thibodeau, Ph.D. awarded 2019, Environmental controls on pteropod ecology and physiology in the Western Antarctic Peninsula (currently post-doc, University of Rhode Island)
- Brandon Conroy, Ph.D. awarded 2016, Zooplankton community structure and grazing in the Amazon River plume and western tropical North Atlantic (currently Biologist, US Army Corps of Engineers)
- Joshua Stone, Ph.D. awarded 2016, Population dynamics of gelatinous zooplankton in the Chesapeake Bay and Sargasso Sea, and effects on carbon export (currently Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina)
- Jami Ivory, M.S. awarded 2015, Seasonal cycles and interannual variability in the major taxa of mesozooplankton at the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study (BATS) station over two decades (currently scientist with Science Education Association, SEA) (currently Faculty Research Assistant, Hatfield Marine Science Center, Oregon State University)
- Miram Gleiber, M.S. awarded 2014, Long-term change in copepod community structure in the Western Antarctic Peninsula: Linkage to climate and implications for carbon cycling (currently Ph.D. student, Oregon State University)
- Lori Garzio (née Price) M.S. awarded 2012, Microzooplankton community composition and grazing impact along the western Antarctic Peninsula (currently Research Analyst, Center for Ocean Observing Leadership, COOL, Rutgers University)
- Kate Ruck, M.S. awarded 2012, Zooplankton prey quality and feeding dynamics along the Western Antarctic Peninsula (currently Associate Scientist Project Manager at QED Enterprises, Inc., Arctic Research Support and Logistics Program)
- Jeanna Hudson, M.S. awarded 2012, Trophic Ecology of Mesopelagic Myctophids (Family Myctophidae) from the Northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge (Iceland to the Azores) (currently Research Technician, VIMS)
- Grace Saba, Ph.D. awarded 2009, The role of copepods and heterotrophic dinoflagellates in the production of dissolved organic matter and inorganic nutrients (currently Assistant Professor, Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University)
- Stephanie Wilson, Ph.D. awarded 2009, Mesopelagic zooplankton feeding ecology and effects on particle repackaging and carbon transport in the subtropical and subarctic North Pacific Ocean
- Rob Condon, Ph.D. awarded 2008, Impacts of gelatinous zooplankton on dissolved organic matter cycling and bacterioplankton communities in the York River estuary (currently Executive Director, Young Scientist Academy, Wilmington, North Carolina)
- Bethany Smith (née Eden), M.S. awarded 2008, Zooplankton community structure in a cyclonic and mode-water eddy in the Sargasso Sea (currently Marine Science teacher, Chesapeake Bay Governor's School, VA)
- Astrid Schnetzer, Ph.D. awarded 2001, (University of Austria, Vienna), Zooplankton vertical migration and POM transport in the Sargasso Sea. (currently Associate Professor, North Carolina State University)
Dr. Karen Stamieszkin, Zooplankton pathways for carbon export, NASA EXPORTS program
- Dr. Kim Bernard, Antarctic mesozooplankton grazing, and use of acoustics to measure zooplankton distribution (currently Associate Professor, Oregon State University)
- Dr. Sarah Stone (neé Goldthwait), Zooplankton and biogeochemical cycling in mesoscale eddies (currently Interim Director, eScience Institute, University of Washington
- MSCI 501D, 401D: Fundamentals of Marine Science, Biological Oceanography
- MSCI 506: Scientific Communication, with Eric Hilton
- MSCI 652: Marine Plankton Ecology
- MSCI 660: Zooplankton Ecology
- MSCI 698: Special Topics (various)- e.g., Dissolved Organic Matter in Aquatic Systems, with Deborah Bronk; Respiration in Aquatic Ecosystems, with Elizabeth Canuel
Awards & Honors
- 2015 - State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) Outstanding Faculty Award
- 2014 - CSX Eminent Scholar Professorship/ Chair in Marine Science
- 2014 - William & Mary Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence
- 2013 - William & Mary Tack Faculty lecture
- 2012 - Sverdrup Award lecture, Ocean Sciences, American Geophysical Union (AGU)
- 2007 - Winner of William and Mary Raft Debate
- 2006 - Dean's Prize for Advancement of Women in Marine Science
- 2005 - College of William & Mary Class of 1964 Distinguished Associate Professor of Marine Science
- 2005 - Elected to the Board of Trustees, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, Inc.
- 1987 - Antarctic Service Award and Medal, U.S. Department of the Navy
- American Society of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO)
- The Oceanography Society (TOS)
- American Geophysical Union (AGU)