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 is the editor of the American Geophysical Union journal,  Global Biogeochemical Cycles.

Curriculum Vitae

14718 NE 11th Street
Vancouver, WA 98684
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  • 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.


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

    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.

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

    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.

    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. 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.

    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.

    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., 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.

    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.

    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.