Dr. Will Berelson

Dr. Will Berelson is a biogeochemist with interests in geobiology, oceanography, and paleo-oceanography. He has earned a B.A. in Geological Sciences from the University of Rochester and a Masters in Geological Sciences with a focus on Sedimentology through Duke University.  In 1985, he gained his Ph.D. in Geological Sciences with a focus on Geochemistry at the University of Southern California, where he is currently a professor.  Dr. Berelson has conducted many studies to link chemical and microbiological processes in seafloor sediments.  He incorporates the use of deep-sea robotic technology to collect and explore various sediments and water samples.  On a large scale, he explores how biogeochemical reactions that occur both in the sediments and water column affect the local and global cycling of carbon and other elements; on this expedition he will be teaming up with Dr. McManus and Dr. Severmann to determine relationships between the level of iron found in sediments in the hypoxic areas of the Gulf of Mexico.

Q: Have you always wanted to work in this field?  Was there a defining moment in school or your childhood that guided you in this direction?

A:  My defining moment probably came as a senior in college, a semester abroad in the Virgin Islands convinced me that doing science outdoors was something I could see myself doing.

Q: What classes did you choose to take in HS? What were your majors in undergrad/grad school?  Was there a favorite, least favorite?

 A: I took an ordinary high school curriculum, I had calculus and a novel biology course but little else was unusual or terribly interesting.  I thought I liked math/science more than literature, but this was only a vague idea.

Q: What bit of advice can you offer to our future scientists and explorers following on this blog?

A: Give things a try, find something that you enjoy doing, try to figure out what your strengths are, within the realm of things you like!

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