2024 Lindeman Award Recipient

Richard LaBrie

The Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) presents the Raymond L. Lindeman Award each year to a young aquatic scientist for their notable work on an outstanding, peer-reviewed, English-language paper in the realm of aquatic sciences. The 2024 Lindeman award will be presented to Dr. Richard LaBrie for his 2022 paper "Deep ocean microbial communities produce more stable dissolved organic matter through the succession of rare prokaryotes". This paper highlights an innovative experimental approach demonstrating that microbial communities strongly control the recalcitrance and fate of dissolved organic matter with implications for carbon exchange between the oceans and the atmosphere.  The Lindeman award will be presented to Dr. LaBrie, a Postdoctoral Fellow at McGill University, at the 2024 ASLO Summer Meeting in Madison, WI, USA in June.

LaBrie et al. investigates multiple hypotheses of the microbial carbon pump by testing how microbial communities from varying depths in the Labrador Sea differed in their ability to degrade dissolved organic carbon. This innovative experiment finds that deeper prokaryotes are strongly effective at breaking down matter and producing refractory dissolved organic carbon, a form of carbon that can last for thousands of years. This paper also provides evidence for dilution's role in helping to create these stable compounds; the concentration of the refractory carbon is just too low to energetically favor subsequent uptake. The ocean’s pool of dissolved organic matter stabilizes our global climate and accounts for about as much carbon present in the atmosphere. LaBrie’s work uncovers the combined importance of both ecological and chemical factors in this ocean carbon sink, and will shape the future of ocean science in the face of our changing climate.

ASLO President Pat Glibert says, “Dr. LaBrie’s study illuminating the dynamics of deep ocean microorganisms in the microbial carbon pump is crucial for expanding knowledge on oceanic carbon sequestration. These methods represent an innovative direction for ocean biogeochemistry laboratory studies. We are excited to follow the future research trajectories of this researcher.”

Full Citation:   LaBrie, R., Péquin, B., Fortin St-Gelais, N., Yashayaev, I., Cherrier, J., Gélinas, Y., Guillemette, F., Podgorski, D. C., Spencer, R. G. M., Tremblay, L., & Maranger, R. (2022). Deep ocean microbial communities produce more stable dissolved organic matter through the succession of rare prokaryotes. Science Advances, 8(27), eabn0035. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abn0035

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