Behzad Mortazavi

Behzad  Mortazavi

Professor and Department Chair


  • Ph.D., Department of Oceanography, Florida State University, 1998

Research Interests

In my lab we study biogeochemical cycles in terrestrial and marine ecosystems, with a particular emphasis on how naturally occurring perturbation and anthropogenic activities are impacting the transformations of Carbon and Nitrogen.

We use a combination of field and laboratory efforts and use stable isotopes as well as other state-of-the-art tools and equipment to understand processes in variety of environments ranging from headwater streams, large river, estuaries, marshes, and coastal oceans.

The lab’s research interests are broad and interdisciplinary, requiring collaboration with oceanographers, hydrologists, chemists, microbial ecologists, and plant physiologists. We are currently investigating the impact of oil spills on nitrogen cycling in nearshore marine ecosystems as well as the role of different marsh vegetation types on nitrogen cycling.

For detailed information on our current projects see my webpage.

Selected Publications

Alberti, J.; Cebrian, J.; Alvarez, F.; Escapa, M.; Esquius, K. S.; Fanjul, E.; Sparks, E. L.; Mortazavi, B.; Iribarne, O. (2017). Nutrient and herbivore alterations cause uncoupled changes in producer diversity, biomass and ecosystem function, but not in overall multifunctionality. Scientific Reports, 7(1), 2639. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-02764

Hinshaw, S. E., Tatariw, C., Flournoy, N., Kleinhuizen, A., Taylor, C. B., Sobecky, P., & Mortazavi, B. (2017). Vegetation loss decreases salt marsh denitrification capacity: Implications for marsh erosion. Environmental Science & Technology. doi:10.1021/acs.est.7b0061

Caffrey, J. M., Hollibaugh, J. T., & Mortazavi, B. (2016). Living oysters and their shells as sites of nitrification and denitrification. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 112, 86-90

Wilson, B. J., Mortazavi, B., & Kiene, R. P. (2015). Spatial and temporal variability in carbon dioxide and methane exchange at three coastal marshes along a salinity gradient in a northern Gulf of Mexico estuary. Biogeochemistry, 123(3), 329-347

Bernard, R. J., Mortazavi, B., & Kleinhuizen, A. A. (2015). Dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) seasonally dominates NO3 reduction pathways in an anthropogenically impacted sub-tropical coastal lagoon. Biogeochemistry, 125(1), 47-64

Christiaen, B., Bernard, R. J., Mortazavi, B., Cebrian, J., & Ortmann, A. C. (2014). The degree of urbanization across the globe is not reflected in the δ15N of seagrass leaves. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 83(2), 440-445

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 & Technology, 47, 11676-11684

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, 244-245, 537-544