Behzad Mortazavi

Associate Professor and Director of MS program in Marine Science

Phone: (251) 861-2141, Ext 2189


Dr. Mortazavi’s Lab Webpage

Behzad Mortazavi received a Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from Florida State University in 1998. He has served as Associate Research Faculty at Florida State University. Dr. Mortazavi is currently the director of the Master of Science Program in Marine Science at the University of Alabama and a Senior Marine Scientist at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.  He was appointed Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama in 2008, and Associate Professor in 2013.

Research Interests
At this time, I am working in the following areas:My research interests focus on biogeochemical transformation of organic matter in terrestrial and marine ecosystems, with a particular emphasis on how naturally occurring perturbation and anthropogenic activities are impacting biogeochemical cycles. We focus on a combination of field and laboratory efforts and use stable isotopes as well as other state of the art tools and equipment to address processes occurring at scales varying form a single leaf to the ecosystem.  My research interests are broad and interdisciplinary, requiring collaboration with oceanographers, hydrologists, chemists, microbial ecologists, and plant physiologists.

  1. Examining the bioavailability of organic matter delivered by groundwater to coastal waters,
  2. Nitrogen cycling in coastal sediments, and specifically quantifying nitrogen losses through denitrification,
  3. Methane and carbon dioxide fluxes from saltmarshes
  4. Nitrogen cycling in saltmarshes,
  5. Bioremediation for marine oil spills.

Interested students and postdocs should contact Dr. Mortazavi.

Selected Publications

Mortazavi, B., Horel, A., Beazley, M. J., & Sobecky, P. A. (2013). Intrinsic rates of petroleum hydrocarbon biodegradation in Gulf of Mexico intertidal sandy sediments and its enhancement by organic substrates. Journal of Hazardous Materials, Volume 244-245: 537-544.

Mortazavi, B., Wilson, B. J., Dong, F., Gupta, M., & Baer, D. (2013). Validation and application of cavity-enhanced, near-infrared tunable diode laser absorption spectrometry for measurements of methane carbon isotopes at ambient concentrations. Environmental Science and Technology, Volume 47: 11676-11684.

Beazley, M.J., Martinez, R.J., Rajan, S., Powell, J., Piceno, Y.M., Tom, L.M., Andersen, G.L., Hazen, T.C., Van Nostrand, J.D., Zhou, J.Z., Mortazavi, B. & Sobecky, P.A., 2012, Microbial community analysis of a coastal salt marsh affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. PloS One, Volume 7: e41305.

Patankar, R., Starr, G., Mortazavi, B., Oberbauer, S.F. & Rosenblum, A. (2013). The effects of mite galling on the ecophysiology of two Arctic willows. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, Volume 45:  99-106.

Horel, A., Mortazavi, B. & Sobecky, P.A. (2012). Responses of microbial community from Northern Gulf of Mexico sandy sediments following exposure to Deepwater Horizon crude oil, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Volume 31: 1004-1011

Mortazavi, B., Riggs, A. A., Caffrey, J. M., Genet, H., & Phipps, S. W. (2012). The contribution of benthic nutrient regeneration to primary production in a shallow eutrophic estuary, Weeks bay, Alabama. Estuaries and Coasts, Volume 35: 862-877.

Mortazavi, B., Conte, M. H., Chanton, J. P., Weber, J. C., Martin, T. A., & Cropper, W. P. (2012). Variability in the carbon isotopic composition of foliage carbon pools (soluble carbohydrates, waxes) and respiration fluxes in southeastern U.S. Pine forests. Journal of Geophysical Research. Biogeosciences, 117(2).

Wingate, L., J Ogée , M. Cuntz , B. Genty , I. Reiter , U. Seibt , D. Yakir , K. Maseyk , E. Pendall , M. Barbour , B. Mortazavi, Ph. Peylin, J. Miller , M. Mencuccini , R. Burlett , J. Shim , J. Hunt , J. Grace (2009). The influence of carbonic anhydrase in soils on the oxygen isotope signal of atmospheric CO2. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Volume 106: 22411-22415.