Dr. Carlson earned his BA degree at Colby College and his PhD in Marine Science at the University of Maryland where he investigated the role that marine microbes play in governing the carbon cycle of open ocean ecosystems. As a Postdoctoral scholar at BIOS he focused on the biogeochemistry of dissolved organic matter in ocean systems. He joined BIOS faculty in 1996 and remained there until joining the Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology (EEMB) group at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2001. Dr. Carlson currently serves as Vice Chair of EEMB and is a member of UCSB’s Marine Science Institute. He is lead PI or Co-PI on several federally sponsored projects in microbial oceanography. Visit Dr. Carlson's Microbial Oceanography Lab homepage.
Microbial oceanography is an interdisciplinary blend of marine microbiology and ocean biogeochemistry. Specifically, Craig's research has focused on the role marine microbes play in the cycling of elements through oceanic dissolved organic matter (DOM) and the biogeochemical significance of DOM in the marine C cycle. Despite significant progress, the oceanographic community still lacks a mechanistic understanding of the microbial processes that shape DOM dynamics. Craig's research goals are to continue to break apart the “black boxes” of substrates and organisms. He applies traditional as well as cutting edge molecular techniques to further characterize both DOM composition as well as the microbial community that has grown and transformed these substrates. The ultimate goal of this research is to establish linkages between microbial community composition and biogeochemical processes.