Dr. Heidi Geisz

Adjunct Faculty
Seabird Ecology, Environmental Ecology


Curriculum Vitae

Ph.D. Marine Science, College of William and Mary, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, 2010

Research and Professional Interests

Antarctica is often referred to as the last pristine environment; however, an increasing body of evidence suggests this is an inaccurate characterization. Circumpolar long-term research indicates that recent changes in the global climate, driven by anthropogenic influences, are particularly acute in the Antarctic. For example, warming of the regional climate has been correlated with perturbations throughout the sea-ice dominated ecosystem along the Western Antarctic Peninsula. A lesser studied anthropogenic impact on the Antarctic ecosystem is the bioaccumulation and biomagnification of persistent organic pollutants in apex predators.

I am broadly interested in examining food web dynamics by investigating the foraging ecology of higher predators. Working with the seabird component of the Palmer Station Long Term Ecological Research program inspired my doctoral research at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. My studies focused on the transport and fate of organic contaminants in the Antarctic food web, particularly higher predators, as well as the use of stable isotopes and persistent organic pollutants as ecological tracers in seabirds breeding in Antarctica.

My most recent interests have focused on marine science policy. As a Sea Grant Knauss Fellow, I held a position on the U.S. House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee staff where I worked directly with a variety of stakeholders to analyze and develop policy affecting coastal and marine ecosystems. I remain keenly interested in exploring ways to bridge communication between science and policy makers.

Selected Publications

  • Ducklow, H; Clarke, A; Dickhut, R; Doney, SC; Geisz, H; Huang, K; Martinson, DG; Meredith, MP; Moeller, HV; Montes-Hugo, M; Schofield, O; Stammerjohn, SE; Steinberg, D; Fraser, WR. (2012) Marine Pelagic Ecosystems: The West Antarctic Peninsula. In Antarctica: An Extreme Environment in a Changing World; Rogers, AD Ed.; Wiley.
  • Geisz, H; Dickhut, RM; Cochran, MA; Fraser, WR; Ducklow, HW. (2008) Melting Glaciers: A Probable Source of DDT to the Antarctic Marine Ecosystem. Environmental Science & Technology. 42(11)3958-3962.
  • Geisz, H; Dickhut, RM; Cochran, MA; Fraser, WR; Ducklow, HW. (2009) Response to Comment on “Melting Glaciers: A Probable Source of DDT to the Antarctic Marine Ecosystem.” Environmental Science & Technology. 43(10)3958-3962.
  • Shearn-Bochsler, V; Green, DE; Converse, KA; Docherty, DE; Thiel, T; Geisz, HN; Fraser, W & Patterson-Fraser, DL (2008) Cutaneous and diphtheritic avian poxvirus infection in a nestling Southern Giant Petrel (Macronectes giganteus) from Antarctica. Polar Biology 31(5) 569-573.

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 11:13 AM