Robert D. Vaillancourt
Assistant Professor of Ocean Sciences
PO Box 1002, Millersville University
Millersville, PA 17551
Tel: (717) 872-3294
PhD Biological Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, Graduate School of Oceanography (Elijah Swift, advisor). Ph.D. dissertation: Physiological study of the autotrophic marine dinoflagellate Pyrocystis noctiluca including light absorption, photosynthesis and growth.
MS Biological Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, Graduate School of Oceanography (Paul Hargraves, advisor). Masters Thesis: Phylogenetic study of genetic relatedness within and between three species of marine diatoms based on molecular characterization of plastid DNA using restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP).
BS Biochemistry, chemistry minor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Since Sept 2008: Assistant professor of Ocean Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Millersville University of PA
Adjunct research scientist, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, NY
Feb. 2003 – Aug. 2008: Doherty Associate Research Scientist, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, NY
Jan. 2000 – Jan. 2003: Post-doctoral Scientist, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, NY
Sept. 1996 – Dec. 1999: Post-doctoral Scientist, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, Boothbay Harbor, ME.
PRIOR TEACHING & MENTORING
Fall 2006: Guest lecturer, Millersville University, Biology Dept.
Fall 2005: Guest Lecturer, Marine Ecology, Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, PA.
Fall, 2004: Adjunct professor of Oceanography, Fairleigh Dickenson University.
Summers, 2002 & 2003: Mentor for undergraduate REU interns at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.
Dec 2000 – Jan 2001: Participation in web-based classroom (GLACIER program, http://www.glacier.rice.edu/) from research vessel N.B. Palmer while in East Antarctica (NBP-00-08).
Spring 1998 & 1999: Chemistry lab instructor for BLOOM high school summer studies program, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences.
February 1998 & 1999: Guest lecturer, Gulf of Maine Spring Seminar Series, University of New England, Biddeford, ME.
February, 1998: Rules Judge for CORE New England Regional Ocean Science Bowl, University of New England.
1990: Teaching assistant for introductory Oceanography course at URI (OCG 401).
CURRENT RESEARCH INTERESTS
Role of light and nutrients in controlling growth of phytoplankton community structure, rate processes and cycling of materials in the sea.
Primary productivity modeling of marine environment.
Fluorescence methods of measuring photosynthesis of marine phytoplankton.
Bio-optics of marine phytoplankton and particulates as related to species, size, shape and pigment composition.
RESEARCH and EDUCATION GRANTS
“Phytoplankton absorption and carbon dioxide drawdown in the Southern Ocean”, NASA Ocean Biology & Biogeochemistry awarded to R.Vaillancourt, J. Marra and A. Subramaniam. Amount: $282,745, Period: Sept 13, 2007-Sept 2009.
"The control of photosynthetic quantum yield of phytoplankton by light intensity and diapycnal nutrient flux", NSF Bio OCE-0550725 awarded to RD Vaillancourt & J. Marra. Amount: $698,258, Period: Aug 1, 2006 – Jul 31, 2009.
“Development of satellite primary productivity algorithms for coastal waters”, NASA Oceans and Ice awarded to RD Vaillancourt. Amount: $142,984, Period: 9/15/05 – 12/15/08.
"Collaborative Research: A Lagrangian SeaSoar Study of the coupling of circulation, mixing, and productivity at a shelfbreak front". OCE 00-02390 awarded to R. Houghton, J. Marra and R. Vaillancourt. Amount: $383,432. Period: 9/1/00-8/31/04.
“Phytoplankton composition and photosynthetic properties associated with water masses in the George V. region of Antarctica”. NSF Office of Polar Programs SGER awarded to RDV and R. Sambrotto (OPP 01-05104). Amount: $39,318. Period: 2/15/2001 to 1/31/2002.
“Optical variability in Sardinian Coastal waters (Sardinia, Italy): the absorption of visible light by particulate and dissolved materials and its relation to DOM concentration and phytoplankton species composition.” Subcontract award to R.D.V. by Battelle/Consorzio Ricerche Associate, Tramariglio, Sardinia, Italy. Amount: $24,000.00 US. Period: 2 months.
“Spectral backscattering and absorption as related to taxonomy and size among classes of cultured marine phytoplankton.” NOAA Research grant #NA87EC0550 awarded to RDV. Amount: $47,468.00 US. Period: 4 months.
September 1998: Light absorption of particulate and dissolved fractions in coastal waters of Porto Conte and Alghero Bays, Sardinia, Italy. A comparison study of the in-situ spectral absorption features of particulate and dissolved substances with the determination of dissolved organic carbon by high temperature combustion, and phytoplankton species composition by HPLC pigment analysis and microscopic identifications.
July and September 1995: Bio-optical variability and its relation to hydrographic features in Long Island Sound, New York Harbor and contiguous waters. Subcontractor for Battelle Ocean Sciences, Duxbury, MA.
1993-1994: Seasonal variation of 14C-primary productivity in Massachusetts Bay as part of a baseline study of conditions in Mass Bay prior to implementation of new sewage treatment plant. Joint project with Massachusetts Water Resource Authority, Battelle Ocean Sciences and the University of Rhode Island.
1991-1992: Graduate research assistantship studying the species composition of bioluminescent zooplankton from the Subarctic North Atlantic south of Iceland as part of the ONR sponsored Marine Light Mixed Layer project.
1987-1991: Long-term bacteriological survey of Narragansett Beach and adjacent offshore waters. Collection, processing and analysis of water samples for bacterial contaminants as indicators of sewage runoff in Narragansett Bay and Narrow River, RI.
1988-1990: Subcontractor with Applied Science Associates, Narragansett, RI. Macroalgae and water quality surveys of coastal waters around New England.
1987-1989: Graduate research assistantship studying the distribution of resting spores of the nuisance brown-tide alga Aureococcus anophagefferens in shallow embayments of Narragansett Bay, RI.
June 1984 to April 1986: Laboratory technician, Harvard Medical School, Boston MA. Trace metal technician, CEIMIC corp., Narragansett, RI. Pond-Watchers program coordinator, URI.
Marine Science Consortium Academic Advisory Committee member, Fall 2012 to present
Academic Standards Committee, MU, September 2011 to present.
Academic Standards Committee (alternate), MU, January to August, 2011
School of Science and Mathematics Curriculum Committee, March 2010 to present.
MU Library representative, DES. Spring 2012 to present
American Geophysical Union
The Oceanography Society
American Society of Limnology and Oceanography
OCEAN RESEARCH CRUISES
(note: “RV” = Research Vessel)
RV Parker: Marine Science Consortium, Wallops Island, VA. Day cruises to continental shelf sea off the Delmarva Peninsula for research and education, 2008 to present.
RV Cape Hatteras (Chief Scientist), Photosynthetic rate and efficiency determinations by radio-isotope and fluorescence methods along transect from Woods Hole, MA to Sargasso Sea. Jul 2008 (21 d).
NOAA Ship Ronald Brown, Measurement of CO2 drawdown and photosynthetic efficiency in the Southern Ocean as part of GasEx program, Feb-April 2008.
RV Atlantic Explorer, Determination of photosynthetic quantum yield and nutrient and light fluxes in the subtropical north Atlantic Ocean, April and August 2007.
RV Endeavor, Photosynthetic rate and efficiency determinations by radio-isotope and fluorescence methods at shelf-break upwelling region in mid-Atlantic Bight. Summer, 2001 and 2002.
RVIB Nathaniel B. Palmer, Variable fluorescence of phytoplankton along the Antarctic shelf and shelf break between 140 to 150° W. Longitude. Austral summer, 2000-01.
RV Townsend Cromwell. Variable fluorescence of phytoplankton in cyclonic eddies adjacent to the Hawaiian archipelago. Fall, 2000.
RV Endeavor, photosynthetic quantum yield measurements in Mid-Atlantic Bight. Summer, 2000.
RV Edwin Link, bio-optical surveys in Gulf of Maine, Summer, 1999.
RV Attili Regelo, Bio-optical, hydrographic and biological surveys in coastal Sardinia, Italy (Mediterranean Sea), Fall, 1998.
RV Delaware II, Bio-optical measurements of surface waters in the Gulf of Maine; Fall, 1997.
RV Albatross, C-14 photosynthetic and calcification rate measurements in the Gulf of Maine, Fall, 1996.
RV Diane G. Bio-optical profiling of Long Island and Rhode Island Sounds, New York Harbor and contiguous waters; subcontract with Battelle Ocean Sciences, Duxbury, MA; Spring and summer, 1996.
RV Marlin, RV Seabreeze and RV Navaho: Shipboard C14 photosynthetic rate measurements, plankton net hauls and related biological measurements and hydrographic work in Massachusetts Bay as part of a MWRA/Battelle Ocean Sciences/URI baseline survey; biweekly from Spring 1993 to Fall 1995.
RV Endeavor: SCOPEX project in Great South Channel, Massachusetts Bay. Plankton sampling; Spring, 1989.
“Time scales of photoacclimation in phytoplankton of the Western Antarctic zone”; R.D. Vaillancourt, B. Hargreaves, V. Lance, and J. Marra; Poster presented at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah Feb 20-24, 2012.
“Resolving the Depth of the Ocean’s Productive Layer”, J.F. Marra, V. P. Lance, R.D.Vaillancourt, & B.R. Hargreaves; Poster presented at the Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry Workshop at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA., July 16-19, 2012.
“Control of Photosynthetic Quantum Yield by Zeaxanthin Pigment in the Sargasso Sea”, R.D. Vaillancourt, J. Marra, and V. Lance, Poster presented at the 2011 ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting, San Juan, PR, February 2011, and also at OCB Workshop, Woods Hole, MA, July 2011.
“Does density stratification control photosynthetic quantum yield at the deep chlorophyll maximum?” R.D. Vaillancourt, J. Marra and V.P. Lance. Poster presented at the2010 Ocean Sciences Meeting, Portland, OR, 22-26 February, 2010 (session IT25c).
“Phytoplankton Respiration: Some New Measurements Based on C14”. J. Marra, E. Capuzzo, V. Lance, V. Montecino, and R.D. Vaillancourt. Talk presented by J. Marra at the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) meeting in Nice, France, Jan 25-29, 2009.
“Primary Productivity and Carbon Export During the Southern Ocean Gas Exchange (SOGasEx) Lagrangian Tracer Experiments”, V.Lance, P Strutton, J Marra, & R Vaillancourt. Poster presentation at AGU Fall meeting in San Francisco, CA, Dec 14-19, 2008.
“ON DEQUE: Optical and Nutrient Dependence of Quantum Efficiency – Preliminary Results from the Sargasso Sea” R.D. Vaillancourt, J. Marra, & V. Lance, Poster presentation at AGU Fall meeting in San Francisco, CA, Dec 14-19, 2008.
“Carbon dioxide drawdown during Southern Ocean GasEx: Preliminary observations”, R.D. Vaillancourt, V. Lance, J. Marra, & B. Hargreaves. Poster presentation at NASA Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems Joint Meeting, University of MD, College Park, MD, April 26 – May 1, 2008.
“Development of Satellite Primary Productivity Algorithms for Coastal Waters”, Vaillancourt, R.D.& J. Marra, Poster presented at NASA Ocean Color Research Team Meeting, Newport, RI, April 11-13, 2006.
“The Biological Response to Mixing and Circulation at the Middle Atlantic Shelfbreak Front.” R.D. Vaillancourt, R. W. Houghton, J. Marra, D. Hebert, M. Prater, and B. Hales. Poster presentation submitted to the AUG/ASLO/TOS 2006 Ocean Sciences meeting, Honolulu, HI.
“Physical and Biogeochemical Hydrography of the NESPEX Study Area in June and August, 2002”. Hales, Hebert, Houghton, Marra, Prater, Vaillancourt. AGU Ocean Sciences talk OS32B-24, Portland OR January 30, 2004.
“On the relationship between carbon fixation efficiency and bio-optical characteristics of phytoplankton”. Prieto, Vaillancourt and Marra. ASLO/TOS meeting poseter, Honolulu, HI, February 2004.
“Fast Repetition-Rate Fluorometry Across the New England Shelf Break Front Summer 2002.” Vaillancourt, Marra, Prieto & Hales. AGU Ocean Sciences talk AS52H-04, Portland OR January 30, 2004.
“Summer Plankton Production and Nutrient Consumption Patterns in the Mertz Glacier Region of East Antarctica”, Co-author on seminar given at Ocean Sciences meeting, Feb 2002, Honolulu, HI, with R. Sambrotto (speaker).
“Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphisms of chloroplast DNA of the marine diatom genus Thalassiosira”, Poster, Northeast Algal Symposium, Spring 1991 Woods Hole, MA.
“A taxonomic survey of the optical properties of marine phytoplankton with special emphasis on the backscattering coefficient”, Poster, 2000 Ocean Sciences Meeting, January, 2000. San Antonio, TX.
“Light absorption and photosynthesis in Pyrocystis noctiluca”, Poster, ASLO/PSA 1994 Joint meeting, Miami, FL.
PUBLICATIONS – PEER REVIEWED
Lance, V.P. P.G. Strutton, R.D. Vaillancourt, B.R. Hargreaves, J. –Z. Zhang, and J. Marra, 2012, Primary productivity, new productivity and carbon export during two Southern Ocean Gas Exchange (SO GasEx) tracer experiments, J. Geophys. Res., doi: 10.1029/2011JC007687.
Hamme, R.C., N. Cassar, V.P. Lance, R.D. Vaillancourt, M.L. Bender, P.G. Strutton, T.S. Moore, M.D. DeGrandpre, C.L. Sabine, D.T. Ho, and B.R. Hargreaves, 2012, Dissolved O2/Ar and other methods reveal rapid changes in productivity during a Lagrangian experiment in the Southern Ocean, J. Geophys. Res., 117, C00F12, doi: 10.1029/2011JC007046.
Lee, Z., VP Lance, S. Shang, R. Vaillancourt, et. al, 2011, An assessment of optical properties and primary production derived from remote sensing in the Southern Ocean (SO GasEx), J. Geophys. Res., C00F03, doi:10.1029/2010JC006747
Prieto, L., RD Vaillancourt, J Marra, and B. Hales. (2008) On the relationship between carbon fixation efficiency and bio-optical characteristics of phytoplankton. J. Plank. Res. vol. 30(1): 43-56.
Vaillancourt, RD, J. Marra, R. Houghton, L. Prieto, B. Hales, and D. Hebert. (2005). Particulate and CDOM absorption at the New England shelfbreak front. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems (G^3) 6 (11), Q11003, doi:10.1029/2005GC000999.
Vaillancourt, RD., J. Marra, R. Barber, and W.O. Smith. (2003). Primary Productivity and Photosynthetic Quantum yields in the Ross Sea and Pacific Sector of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Deep-Sea Research II 50, 559-578.
Vaillancourt, RD., Bidigare, RR., Seki, MP., and Parsons, ML., (2003). Impact of a cyclonic eddy field on phytoplankton community structure and photosynthetic competency in the subtroptical North Pacific Ocean. Deep Sea Research I 50, 829-847.
Vaillancourt, RD. Sambrotto, RN., Greene, S., and Matsuda, A. (2003). Summer chlorophyll a distributions and fluorescence –based maximum quantum yields in the Mertz Polynya, East Antarctica. Deep-Sea Research II 50, 1415-1440.
Vaillancourt, RD., Brown, CW., Guillard, RRL., and Balch, WM. (2004) Light backscattering properties of marine phytoplankton: relationships to cell sice, chemical composition and taxonomy, J. Plank. Research 26, 1-22.
Sambrotto, RN., Vaillancourt, RD., Langdon, C., Measures, C., Jacobs, S. and Matsuda, A. (2003) Summer plankton production and nutrient consumption patterns in the Mertz Glacier region of East Antarctica. Deep-Sea Research II 50, 1393-1414.
Vaillancourt, R.D. and W.M. Balch (2000) The Marine submicron particle size distribution determined by Flow-flow field fractionation.. Limnol and Oceanogr.v 45:485-492
Graziano, L.M., W.M. Balch, D. Drapeau, B.C. Bowler, R.D. Vaillancourt, S. Dunford. 2000. Organic and inorganic carbon production in the Gulf of Maine. Cont. Shelf Res. 20:685-705.
Balch, W.M., J. Vaughn, J. Novatny, D.Drapeau, R. Vaillancourt, J. Lapierre and A. Ashe. (2000). Light scattering by viral suspensions. Limnol and Oceanogr. V45: 492-498.
Balch, W.M., Drapeau, D.T., Cucci, T.L. Vaillancourt, R.D., Kilpatrick, K.A., Fritz, J.J. 1999, Optical backscattering by calcifying algae: separating the contribution of particulate inorganic an organic carbon fractions. Geophys. Res. V104: 1541-1558.
Swift, E., JM Sullivan, HP Batchelder, J. Van Keuren, RD Vaillancourt and RR. Bidigare, 1995 Bioluminescent organisms and bioluminescence measurements in the North Atlantic Ocean near Lat. 60N., Long. 21W. J. Geophys. Res. V100(c4).
Batchelder, HP., JR Van Keuren, R. Vaillancourt and E. Swift. 1995. Spatial and temporal distributions of acoustically estimated zooplankton biomass near the Marine Light Mixed Layers station (59 30N, 21 00W) in the North Atlantic in May 1991. J. Geophys. Res. V 100 (C4): 6549-6563.
Hargraves, PE., RD. Vaillancourt and GA Jolly, 1988, Autotrophic picoplankton in Narragansett Bay and their interaction with microplankton, 1990, E. Cosper and E. Carpenter, eds. Novel Phytoplankton Blooms. Lecture Notes East Coast Est. Studies, Springer Verlag, Hiedelberg.
REPORTS AND ARTICLES
Vaillancourt, RD., Cai, WJ., Friedrichs, M., Lee, Z., Mannino, A., and Schaaf, C., Primary Production; In: R.G. Najjar, M.A.M. Friedrichs, W.-J. Cai (Editors), Report of The U.S. East Coast Carbon
Cycle Synthesis Workshop, January 19-20, 2012, Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry Program
and North American Carbon Program, pp. 11-12.
Vaillancourt, R.D. 2001. Plying the Ocean Waters in the Home of the Blizzard. Fall issue of At the Bay Campus, Newsletter of the Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island.
Libby PS, Hennessy JT, Spina P, Baptiste-Carpenter EM, Ackelson SG, Albro CS, Turner JT, Borkman DG, Keller AA, Reed L and Vaillancourt R. 1995. Appendices to Report 95-10 ''Water quality monitoring in Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays: October -December 1994''. Boston: Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. Report ms-032. 187 p.
Libby PS, Hennessy JT, Spina P, Baptiste-Carpenter EM, Albro CS, Turner JT, Borkman D, Keller AA, Reed L and Vaillancourt R. 1995. Appendices to Report 95-04 ''Water quality monitoring in Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays: August and September 1994''. Boston: Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. Report ms-031. 217 p.
Libby PS, Hennessy JT, Spina P, Baptiste-Carpenter EM, Albro CS, Turner JT, Borkman D, Keller AA, Reed L and Vaillancourt R. 1995. Appendices to Report 95-03 ''Water quality monitoring in Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays: June and July 1994''. Boston: Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. Report ms-030. 186 p.
Libby PS, Kelly JR, Albro CS, Hennessy JT, Turner JT, Borkman DG, Reed L, Vaillancourt R and Heil C. 1995. Water quality monitoring in Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays: October -December 1994. Boston: Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. Report 1995-10. 142 p.
Kelly JR, Libby PS, Albro CS, Hennessy JT, Turner JT, Borkman DG, Reed L, Vaillancourt R and Heil C. 1995. Water quality monitoring in Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays: August and September 1994. Boston: Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. Report 1995-04. 163 p.
Kelly JR, Libby PS, Albro CS, Hennessy JT, Turner JT, Borkman DG, Reed L, Vaillancourt R and Heil C. 1995. Water quality monitoring in Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays: June and July 1994. Boston: Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. Report 1995-03. 132 p.
Kelly JR, Libby PS, Albro CS, Hennessy JT, Turner JT, Borkman DG, Doering PH, Keller AA, Vaillancourt R and Reed L. 1994. Water quality monitoring in Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays: April and May 1994. Boston: Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. Report 1994-15. 136 p.
Vaillancourt, R.D. and P.E Hargraves, 1989, The effects of the World Prodigy Oil Spill on the abundances and floristics of different size fractions of phytoplankton in the West Passage of Narragansett Bay, RI. URI Report.