Natasha McDonald is a Research Specialist working for the Bermuda Bio-optics Project (BBOP), a NASA-funded program, in conjunction with the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is trained as a photochemist and her focus is on the chromophoric (or light-absorbing) fraction of dissolved organic matter (DOM). Natasha studied CDOM in coastal waters for a number of years, and then came to Bermuda in 2005 to investigate the fate, transport and chemical composition of CDOM in the open ocean.
Her current projects involve quantifying the input of terrestrial matter into the open ocean via atmospheric deposition, identifying different sources and sinks of CDOM, and understanding electronic interactions and charge transfers in the molecules that comprise CDOM. She uses a variety of analytical techniques in her research, including analysis with UV-Vis spectroscopy, fluorometry and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS).