Picture of Dr. William S. Reeburgh
Dr. William S. Reeburgh
Professor Marine and Terrestrial Biogeochemistry

Reeburgh received his B. S. degree in chemistry from the University of Oklahoma in 1961, and M. A.and Ph.D. degrees in oceanography from Johns Hopkins University in 1964 and 1967. Before joining the UCI faculty he was Professor of Marine Science at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. He served as the editor of the American Geophysical Union journal,  Global Biogeochemical Cycles from 1998 to 2004.

Curriculum Vitae

14718 NE 11th Street
Vancouver, WA 98684
(360) 597-3686 (home)
(949) 701-0417 (cell)

  • Global cycles of biogeochemically important elements Information and Figures. The role and importance of anaerobic proceses and anoxic environments in the global carbon cycle. The role of microbial processes as controls and feedbacks in global climate change.

  • Methane biogeochemistry and organic carbon storage in high deposition rate marine sediments and anoxic marine basins. Methane oxidation as a flux control and global sink in marine systems. Rate measurements of anaerobic methane oxidation using labelled methane (3H and 14C) tracers and extent of reaction estimates using stable isotope (2H, 13C) distributions. Methane oxidation as a control on emissions from decomposing methane clathrates. Laboratory studies using externally controlled partial pressures of hydrogen to determine whether anaerobic methane oxidation is conducted by methanogens operating in reverse.

  • Importance of high-latitude terestrial environments in the global carbon and atmospheric methane budgets. Response of high-latitude environments to climate change. Time series measurements of trace gas fluxes from wetland, tundra, and boreal forest systems. Biogeochemical processes at the oxic:anoxic interface in soils. Importance of aerobic methane oxidation in wetland and soil systems as a sink, flux control, and possible feedback. Detrmination of kinetic isotope effect for methane oxidation from soil profiles. Laboratory and field manipulation studies of methane oxidation sensitivity to moisture water table level, and temperature changes. Pulse labelling (14CO2) experiments to determine the role of recently-fixed photosynthetic carbon in wetland methane production and release. Biosphere 2 methane budget studies.


    Reeburgh, W. S. and J. H. Carpenter. 1964. Determination of chlorinity with a differential potentiometric end point. Limnol. Oceanogr. 9:589-591.

    Reeburgh, W. S. 1965. Measurements of the electrical conductivity of sea water. J. Mar. Res. 23:187-199.

    Reeburgh, W. S. 1966. Some implications of the 1940 redefinition of chlorinity. Deep-Sea Res. 13:975-976.

    Reeburgh, W. S. 1967. An improved interstitial water sampler. Limnol. Oceanogr. 12:163-165.

    Reeburgh, W. S. 1968. Determination of gases in sediments. Environ. Sci & Technol. 2:140-141.

    Reeburgh, W. S. 1969. Observations of gases in Chesapeake Bay sediments. Limnol. Oceanogr. 14:368-375.

    Clasby, R. C., W. S. Reeburgh and V. Alexander. 1972. A close-interval syringe-type sampler. Limnol. Oceanogr. 17:632-633.

    Reeburgh, W. S. 1972. Processes affecting gas distributions in estuarine sediments, pp. 382-398. In Bruce W. Nelson (ed.), G. S. A. Memoir 133, Environmental Framework of Coastal Plain Estuaries.

    Heggie, D. T. and W. S. Reeburgh. 1973. Measurements of dissolved permanent gases with a gas density balance detector. J. Chrom. Sci. 12:7-12.

    Reeburgh, W. S. and D. T. Heggie. 1974. Depth distributions of gases in shallow water sediments, pp. 27-45. In I. R. Kaplan (ed.), Natural Gases in Marine Sediments, Plenum Press, New York.

    Hood, D. W. and W. S. Reeburgh. 1974. Chemistry of the Bering Sea: an overview, pp. 191-204. In: D. W. Hood and E. J. Kelley (eds.), Oceanography of the Bering Sea, Occ. Publ. No. 2, Inst. Mar. Sci., Univ. Alaska, Fairbanks.

    Reeburgh, W. S., R. D. Muench and R. T. Cooney. 1976. Oceanographic conditions during 1973 in Russell Fjord, Alaska. Estuar. Coast. Mar. Sci. 4:129-145.

    Reeburgh, W. S. and M. S. Young. 1976. University of Alaska Radiocarbon Dates I. Radiocarbon 18:1-15.

    Reeburgh, W. S. 1976. Methane consumption in Cariaco Trench waters and sediments. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 28:337-344.

    Reeburgh, W. S. and D. T. Heggie. 1977. Microbial methane consumption reactions and their effect on methane distributions in freshwater and marine environments. Limnol. Oceanogr. 22:1-9.

    Iverson, R. L., L. K. Coachman, R. T. Cooney, T. S. English, J. J. Goering, G. J. Hunt, M. C. McCauley, C. P. McRoy, W. S. Reeburgh and T. E. Whitledge. 1979. Ecological significance of fronts in the Southeastern Bering Sea, pp. 437-466. In: R. J. Livingstone (ed.), Ecological Processes in Coastal and Marine Systems, Plenum Press, New York.

    Reeburgh, W. S. 1980. Anaerobic methane oxidation: Rates and rate depth distributions in Skan Bay sediments. Earth. Planet. Sci. Lett. 47:345-352.

    Reeburgh, W. S. 1982. A major sink and flux control for methane in marine sediments: anaerobic consumption, pp. 203-217. In K. A. Fanning and F. T. Manheim (eds.), The Dynamic Environment of the Ocean Floor, D. C. Heath, Lexington, Mass.

    Reeburgh, W. S. and R. E. Erickson. 1982. A "dipstick" sampler for rapid, continuous chemical profiles in sediments. Limnol. Oceanogr. 27:556-559.

    Musgrave, D. L. and W. S. Reeburgh. 1982. Density-driven interstitial water motion in sediments. Nature 299:331-334.

    Reeburgh, W. S. 1983. Rates of biogeochemical processes in anoxic sediments. Ann. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 11:269-298.

    Reeburgh, W. S. and M. Springer-Young. 1983. New measurements of sulfate and chlorinity in natural sea ice. J. Geophys. Res. 88(C5):2943-2951.

    Harrison, W. D., D. L. Musgrave and W. S. Reeburgh. 1983. A wave-induced transport process in sediments. J. Geophys. Res. 88(C12):7617-7622.

    Reeburgh, W. S. 1984. Fluxes associated with brine motion in growing sea ice. Polar Biology 3:29-33.

    Alperin, M. J. and W. S. Reeburgh. 1984. Geochemical observations supporting anaerobic methane oxidation, pp. 282-289. In R. Crawford and R. Hanson (eds.), Microbial Growth on C-1 Compounds, American Society for Microbiology.

    Shaw, D. G., M. J. Alperin, W. S. Reeburgh, D. J. McIntosh. 1984. Biogeochemistry of acetate in anoxic sediments of Skan Bay, Alaska. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 48:1819-1825.

    Alperin, M.J. and W.S. Reeburgh. 1985. Inhibition experiments on anaerobic methane oxidation. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 50 :940-945.

    Whitledge, T. E., W. S. Reeburgh and J. J. Walsh. 1986. Seasonal inorganic nitrogen distributions and dynamics in the southeastern Bering Sea. Cont. Shelf Res. (PROBES issue) 5:109-132.

    Reeburgh, W. S. and G. W. Kipphut. 1986. Chemical distributions and signals in the Gulf of Alaska, its coastal margins and estuaries, pp. 77-91. In D. W. Hood and S. T. Zimmerman (eds.), The Gulf of Alaska, Physical Environment and Biological Resources, Minerals Management Service Publ. No. OCS study, MMS 86-0095.

    Glover, D. M. and W. S. Reeburgh. 1987. Radon-222 and Radium-226 in southeastern Bering Sea shelf waters and sediments. Cont. Shelf Res. 7(5):433-456.

    Henrichs, S. M. and W. S. Reeburgh. 1987. Anaerobic mineralization of marine sediment organic matter: Rates and the role of anaerobic processes in the oceanic carbon economy. Geomicrobiol. J. 5(3/4):191-237.

    Alperin, M. J., W. S. Reeburgh and M. J. Whiticar. 1988. Carbon and hydrogen isotope fractionation resulting from anaerobic methane oxidation. Global Biogeochem. Cycles 2:279-288.

    Reeburgh, W. S. and M. J. Alperin. 1988. Studies on anaerobic methane oxidation. pp. 367-375. In: Transport of Carbon and Minerals in Major World Rivers, Lakes and Estuaries, Mitt. Geol. Paläontol. Inst. Hamburg, SCOPE/UNEP Sonderband 68.

    Whalen, S. C. and W. S. Reeburgh. 1990. A methane flux transect along the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Haul Road.Tellus 42B:237-249.

    Murray, J. W., H. W. Jannasch, S. Honjo, R. F. Anderson, W. S. Reeburgh, Z. Top, G. E. Friederich, L. A. Codispoti and E. Izdar. 1989. Unexpected changes in the oxic/anoxic interface in the Black Sea. Nature 338:411-413.

    Ivanov, M. V., A. Yu. Lein, W. S. Reeburgh, and G. W. Skyring. 1989. Interaction of Sulphur and Carbon Cycles in Marine Sediments, pp. 125 -159. In P. Brimblecombe and A. Yu. Lein (eds.), Evolution of the Global Biogeochemical Sulphur Cycle. SCOPE 39, Wiley, New York.

    Sandbeck, K. A. and W. S. Reeburgh. 1989. Microbiological preparation of 3H-labelled methane. J. Labelled Compounds and Radiopharmaceuticals 27:1285-1291.

    Whalen, S. C. and W. S. Reeburgh. 1990. Consumption of atmospheric methane by tundra soils.Nature 346:160-162.

    Whalen, S. C., W. S. Reeburgh and K. S. Kizer.1991. Methane consumption and emission from taiga sites.Global Biogeochemical Cycles 5:261-274.

    Reeburgh, W. S. , B. B. Ward, S. C. Whalen, K. A. Sandbeck, K. A. Kilpatrick and L. J. Kerkhof. 1991. Black Sea methane geochemistry.Deep-Sea Res. 38:S1189-S1210.

    Whalen, S. C. and W. S. Reeburgh. 1992. Interannual variations in tundra methane flux: A 4-year time series at fixed sites.Global Biogeochem. Cycles 6:139-160.

    Whalen, S. C., W. S. Reeburgh and V. Barber. 1992. Oxidation of methane in boreal forest soils: a comparison of seven measures.Biogeochemistry 16:181-211.

    Alperin, M. J., W. S. Reeburgh, and A. H. Devol. 1992. Organic carbon remineralization and preservation in sediments of Skan Bay, Alaska. pp. 99-122. In J. K. Whelan and J. Farrington (eds.) Organic Matter: Productvity, Accumulation, and Preservation in Recent and Ancient Sediments (John Hunt Festschrift), Columbia University Press.

    Horner, R., S. F. Ackley, G. S. Dieckmann, B. Gulliksen, T. Hoshiai, L. Legendre, I. A. Melnikov, W. S. Reeburgh, M. Spindler and C. W. Sullivan. 1992. Ecology of sea ice biota. 1. Habitat, terminology and methodology. Polar Biology 12:417-427.

    Legendre, L., S. F. Ackley, G. S. Dieckmann, B. Gulliksen, R. Horner, T. Hoshiai, I. A. Melnikov, W. S. Reeburgh, M. Spindler and C. W. Sullivan. 1992. Ecology of sea ice biota. 2. Global significance. Polar Biology 12:429-444.

    Reeburgh, W. S. and S. C. Whalen. 1992. High latitude ecosystems as CH4 sources. Ecol. Bull. (Copenhagen) 42: 62-70.

    Reeburgh, W. S., S. C. Whalen and M. J. Alperin. 1993. The role of methylotrophy in the global methane budget. pp. 1-14. In J. C. Murrell and D. P. Kelly (eds.) Microbial Growth on C-1 Compounds, Intercept, Andover, UK.

    Sugai, S. F., M. J. Alperin and W. S. Reeburgh. 1994. Episodic deposition and 137Cs immobility in Skan Bay sediments: a ten-year 210Pb and 137Cs time series.Mar. Geol. 116: 351-372.

    Reeburgh, W. S., N. T. Roulet, and B. H. Svensson. 1994. Terrestrial Biosphere-Atmosphere Exchanges at High Latitudes. pp. 165-178. In R. G. Prinn (ed.), Global Atmospheric-Biospheric Chemistry, Plenum, New York.

    Reeburgh, W. S. 1995. Processes that control storage of nonliving organic matter in aquatic environments, pp. 257-274. In R. G. Zepp and C. Sonntag (eds.), The Role of Non-living Organic Matter in the Earth's Carbon Cycle, Wiley & Sons Ltd., Chichester.

    Whalen, S. C., W. S. Reeburgh, and C. E. Reimers. 1995. Control of tundra methane emission by microbial oxidation. pp. 257-274. In J. F. Reynolds and J. D. Tenhunen (eds.), Landscape Function: Implications for Ecosystem Response to Disturbance. A Case Study in Arctic tundra, Springer-Verlag, New York.

    Reeburgh, W. S. 1996. "Soft Spots" in the global methane budget. pp. 334-342. In M. E. Lidstrom and F. R. Tabita (eds.) 8th International Symposium on Microbial Growth on C-1 Compounds, Kluwer, Dordrecht.

    Whalen, S. C. and W. S. Reeburgh. 1996. Moisture, temperature, and nitrogen sensitivity of CH4 oxidation in boreal soils.Soil Biology and Biochemistry 28:1271-1281.

    Reeburgh, W. S. 1997. Figures Summarizing the Global cycles of biogeochemically important elements. Bull. Ecol. Society of America 78(4):260-267. Information and Figures

    Reeburgh, W. S., A. I. Hirsch, F. J. Sansone, B. N. Popp, T. M. Rust. 1997. Carbon kinetic isotope effect accompanying microbial oxidation of methane in boreal forest soils. Geochim. Cosmochim Acta 61(22):4761-4767.).

    Walker, D. A., J. Bockheim, F. S. Chapin III, W. Eugster, J. King, J. McFadden, G. J. Michaelson, F. E. Nelson, W. C. Oechel, C. L. Ping, W. S. Reeburgh, S. K. Regli, N. I. Shiklomanov, and G. L. Vourlitis, A major arctic soil pH boundary: Implications for energy and trace-gas fluxes. Nature 394:469-472.

    Reeburgh, W. S., J. Y. King, S. K. Regli, G. Kling, N. A. Auerbach and D. A. Walker. 1998. A CH4 emission estimate for the Kuparuk River basin. J. Geophys. Res. 103 D22:29005-29013.

    King, J. Y., S. K. Regli, W. S. Reeburgh. Methane emission and plant gas transport by arctic sedges in Alaska: results of vegetation manipulation site measurements.J. Geophys. Res. 103:29,083-29,092.

    W.S. Reeburgh, J. Y. King, S. K. Regli, G. Kling, N. A. Auerbach, D. A. Walker. A CH4 emission estimate for the Kuparuk River basin. J. Geophys. Res. 103:29,005-29,013.

    Valentine, D. L., W. S. Reeburgh, and D. C. Blanton. 2000. A culture apparatus for maintaining H2 at sub-nanomolar concentrations. J. Microbial Methods 39:243-251.

    Whalen, S. C., and W. S. Reeburgh. 2000. Effect of nitrogen fertilization on atmospheric methane oxidation in boreal forest soils. Chemosphere - Global Change Science 2:151-155.

    Whalen, S. C., and W. S. Reeburgh. 2000. Methane oxidation, production, and emission at contrasting sites in a boreal bog. Geomicrobiol. J. 17:237-251.

    Valentine, D. L. and W. S. Reeburgh. 2000. New perspectives on anaerobic methane oxidation. Environmental Microbiology 2:477-484.

    Valentine, D. L., D. C. Blanton, and W. S. Reeburgh, 2000. Hydrogen production by methanogens under low-hydrogen conditions. Arch. Microbiology, 174:415-421.

    Valentine, D. L., D. C. Blanton, W. S. Reeburgh and M. Kastner, 2001. Water column methane oxidation adjacent to an area of active hydrate dissociation, Eel River Basin. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 65:2633-2640.

    Whalen, S. C. and W. S. Reeburgh, 2001. Carbon monoxide consumption in upland boreal forest soils. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 33:1329-1338.

    King, J. Y. and W. S. Reeburgh. 2001. A pulse labeling experiment to determine the contribution of recent plant photosynthates to net methane emission from arctic wet sedge tundra. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 34:173-180.

    King, J. Y. W. S. Reeburgh, K. K. Thieler, G. W. Kling, W. M. Loya, L. C. Johnson and K. J. Nadelhoffer. 2002 Pulse-labeling studies of carbon cycling in Arctic tundra ecosystems: The contribution of photosynthates to methane emission. Global Biogeochemical Cycles doi: 10.1029/2001GB001456, 22 October 2002.

    Loya, W. M., L. C. Johnson, G. W. Kling, J. Y. King, W. S. Reeburgh, and K. J. Nadelhoffer 2002. Pulse-labeling studies of carbon cycling in Arctic tundra ecosystems: The contribution of photosynthates to soil organic matter. Global Biogeochemical Cycles doi:10.1029/2001GB001464, 22 October 2002.

    Reeburgh, W. S. (2003) Global Methane Biogeochemistry, pp. 65 - 89. In The Atmosphere (ed. R. F. Keeling) Vol. 4 Treatise on Geochemistry (eds, K. K. Turekian and H. D. Holland), Elsevier-Pergamon, Oxford.

    Valentine, D.L., A. Chidthaisong, A. Rice, W.S. Reeburgh, S.C. Tyler. 2004. Carbon and hydrogen isotope fractionation by moderately thermophilic methanogens. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 68: 1571-1590.

    Kessler, J.D., W.S. Reeburgh, J. Southon, R. Varela. 2005. Fossil methane source dominates Cariaco Basin water column methane geochemistry. Geophysical Research Letters 32, L12609.

    Kessler, J.D., W.S. Reeburgh. 2005. Preparation of natural methane samples for stable isotope and radiocarbon analysis. Limnol. Oceanogr.: Methods. 408-418.

    Kessler, J.D., W.S. Reeburgh, J. Southon, R. Seifert, W. Michaelis, S.C. Tyler. 2006. Basin-wide estimates of the input of methane from seeps and clathrates to the Black Sea. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 243:366-375.

    Reeburgh, W. S., S. C. Tyler, and J. Carroll. 2006. Stable carbon and hydrogen isotope measurements on Black Sea methane. Deep-Sea Res. II 53, 1893-1900. doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2006.03.018

    Kessler, J.D., W.S. Reeburgh, S.C. Tyler. 2006. Controls on methane concentration and stable isotope (d2H-CH4 and d13C-CH4) distributions in the water columns of the Black Sea and Cariaco Basin. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 20 GB4004.

    W.S. Reeburgh. 2006. Global Methane Biogeochemistry. University of California, Irvine.

    W.S. Reeburgh. 2006. Stable carbon and hydrogen isotope measurements on Black Sea water-column methane. Deep-Sea Research II. 53: 1893-1900.

    W.S. Reeburgh. 2007. Oceanic Methane Biogeochemistry. Chem. Rev. 107:486-513.

    Kessler, J.D., W.S. Reeburgh, D.L. Valentine, F.S. Kinnaman, E.T. Peltzer, P.G. Brewer, J. Southon, S.C. Tyler. 2008. A survey of methane isotope abundance (14C, 13C, 2H) from five nearshore marine basins that reveals unusual radiocarbon levels in subsurface waters. Journal of Geophysical Research. 113. C23021.

    Pape, T., Bahr, A., Rethemeyer, J., Kessler, J. D., Sahling, H., Klapp, S. A., Reeburgh, W. S., Hinrichs, K.-U., Bohrmann, G. 2010. Molecular and isotopic partitioning of low-molecular weight hydrocarbons flux seepage site. Chemical Geology 269:350-363

    Crowe, S. A., Katsev, S., Leslie, K., Sturm, A., Magen, C., Nomosatryo, S., Reeburgh, W., Roberts, J. A., Gonzalez, L. Mucci, A., Sundby, B., Fowle, D. A. 2010. The Methane Cyclein Ferruginous, Tropical Lake Matano: Methanogenesis, Geobiology, DOI:10.1111/j.1472-4669.2010.00257.

    Pasche, N., Schmid, M., Vasquez, F., Schubert, C., Wüest, A., Kessler, J., Pack, M., Reeburgh W., Bürgmann H. Methane Sources and Sinks in Lake Kivu, JGR-B 116, article G03006, DOI:10.1029/2011JG001690

    Pack, M.A., M.B. Heintz, W.S. Reeburgh, S.E. Trumbore, D.L. Valentine, X. Xu, E.R.M. Druffel. 2011. A method for measuring methane oxidation rates using low levels of 14C-labeled methane and accelerator mass spectrometry. Limnol. Oceanogr.: Methods. 9:245-260.

    Pack, M. A., Heintz, M. B., Reeburgh, W. S., Trumbore, S. E., Valentine, D. L., Xu, X., Druffel, E. R. M. 2015. Methane oxidation in the eastern tropical north Pacific water column. Vol. 120, doi:10.1002/2014JG002090.