Corday Selden
Postdoctoral Researchers
Postdoctoral Researcher | Environmental Biophysics & Molecular Ecology

Full CV


Microbes mediate the flow of energy and matter through the Earth system. In the ocean, diverse microbial communities repartition key elements and their isotopes among different chemical phases, altering the fate and fluxes of this material. In so doing, these tiny wonders profoundly influence Earth’s geochemical cycles and climate.

My research weds field-based observations, laboratory experiments and computational methods to investigate interactions between marine microbes and their environment, and the imprints these dynamics impart. One arm of my current work leverages recent AI-driven advances in the field of structural biology to investigate microbe-metal interactions, including how cells alter the chemical speciation and isotopic fractionation of bioessential metals in the ocean. Another arm focuses on understanding how the biogeochemical behavior (particularly N cycling) of phytoplankton change with their physico-chemical environment. Ultimately, my research is motivated by a desire to understand the feedbacks between the biosphere and geosphere that define the evolution and future of Earth’s habitability.



*indicates co-first


Selden, C.R., Schilling, K., Saunders, N., Yee, N. Can Ni isotope fractionation patterns associated with phytoplankton uptake be explained by differential expression of Ni-binding structures? In prep. For Geobiology.

Selden, C.R.*, Everett, R.*, Berberich, M., Cruz-Rivera, E., Hatha, M., Powell, J., Schenone, L., Schipler, R., Halvorson, H., Marcarelli, A., Fulweiler, R., Scott, T. Stoichiometric drivers of N2 fixation in aquatic heterotrophs: A mathematical model with thermodynamic constraints. In prep. for ISME J.

Macías-Tapia, A., Mulholland, M.R., Selden, C.R., Clayton, S., Bernhardt, P., Allen, T. Tidal flooding contributes to eutrophication: Constraining nonpoint source inputs to an urban estuary using a data-driven statistical model. Estuaries & Coasts, in review.

Zhu, Y., Mulholland, M., Selden, C.R., McGillicuddy, D., Mottram, J., Chappell, P.D., Zhang, W., Meyer, M., Crider, K., Granger, J., Berhardt, P., Oliver, H., Clayton, S. Contrasting nitrogen dynamics in the euphotic zone across the Mid-Atlantic Bight shelfbreak front: Insights from nitrate dual isotopes and nitrifier gene abundance. Limnology & Oceanography, in review.


Selden, C.R.*, Ganley, L.*, LaBrie, R.*, Crocker, D., Peleg, O., Perry, D., Reich, H., Sasaki, M., Thibodeau, P., Isanta-Navarro, J. (2024). Is our understanding of aquatic ecosystems sufficient to quantify ecologically-driven climate feedbacks? Global Change Biology, 30(6), e17351.

Selden, C.R., Schilling, K., Yee, N. (2024). Differential fractionation of Cu isotopes by common amino acid ligands in metalloproteins. Scientific Reports, 14, 1902.

Selden, C.R., Mulholland, M., Clayton, S., Zhang, W., Macías-Tapia, A., Bernhardt, P., Chappell, P.D. (2024). Nitrogen fixation at the Mid-Atlantic Bight shelfbreak and transport of newly-fixed nitrogen to the Slope Sea. JGR Oceans, e2023JC020651.



Macías-Tapia, A., Mulholland, M.R., Selden, C.R., Loftis, D. & Bernhardt, P. (2023). Five years ’Measuring the Muck’: Evaluating interannual variability of nutrient loads from tidal flooding. Estuaries & Coasts, accepted.

Shao, Z. et al. (2023). Version 2 of the global diazotroph database. Earth System Science Data, accepted.

Selden, C.R., Blankmann, D., Falkowski, P.G. “Earth’s metabolism: How proteins helped create our planet.” A Teaching Topic Framework for the International Microbiology Literacy Intiative. K. Timmis [ed]. In press.


Selden, C.R., Einarsson, D., Lowry, K., Crider, K.*, Pickart, R., Ashjian, C. & Chappell, P. D.
(2022). Coastal upwelling enhances abundance of a symbiotic diazotroph (UCYN-A) and its host in the Arctic Ocean. Frontiers in Marine Sciences, 9:877562.

Confesor, K., Selden, C.R., Powell, K., Donahue, L., Mellett, T., Caprara, S., Knapp, A., Buck, K., Chappell, P.D. (2022). Defining the realized niche of two major clades of Trichodesmium: A study on the West Florida Shelf. Frontiers in Marine Science, 9:821655.

Amergian, K.E., Beckwith, S., Gfatter, G., Selden, C.R. & Hallock, P. (2022). Can areas of high
alkalinity fresh-water discharge provide a potential refugia for marine calcifying organisms? Journal of Foraminiferal Research, 52(1), p. 60-73.

Ghosh, A., Robinson, A., Chiapella, A., Bertolet, B., Selden, C.R., Perry, D., Reich, H., Oleksy, I., Isanta-Navarro, J., Aho, K., Ganley, L., Soares, L., Heffernan, L., Peleg, O., Ramulifho, P., Thibodeau, P., Reis, P., Sasaki, M., Ray, N., Maher, R., LaBrie, R., Spier, S. (2022). Eco-DAS: an effective platform for developing professional collaborations among early career aquatic scientists. Limnology & Oceanography Bulletin


 Selden, C.R., Chappell, P.D., Clayton, S., Macías-Tapia, A., Bernhardt, P. & Mulholland, M. (2021). A coastal N2 fixation hotspot at the Cape Hatteras front: Elucidating spatial heterogeneity in diazotroph activity via supervised machine learning. Limnology & Oceanography, 66(5), p. 1832-1849.

Selden, C.R., Mulholland, M., Bernhardt, P., Widner, B. & Jayakumar, A. (2021). Towards resolving disparate accounts of the extent and magnitude of nitrogen fixation in the Eastern Tropical South Pacific oxygen deficient zone. Limnology & Oceanography, 66(5): p. 1950-1960.

Macías-Tapia, A., Mulholland, M.R., Selden, C.R., Loftis, D. & Bernhardt, P. (2021). Effects of
tidal flooding on estuarine biogeochemistry: quantifying flood-driven nitrogen inputs in a lower Chesapeake Bay sub-tributary. Water Research, 201, 117329.

Oliver, H., Zhang, W.G., Smith, W.O., Alatalo, P., Chappell, P.D., Hirzel, A., Selden, C.R., Sosik, H.M., Stanley, R.H.R., Zhu, Y., & McGillicuddy, D.J. (2021). Diatom hotspots driven by western boundary current instability. Geophysical Research Letters, 48(11): e2020GL091943.


White, A., Granger, J., Selden, C.R., Gradoville, M.R., Potts, L., Bourbonnais, A., Fulweiler, R.W., Knapp, A., Mohr, W., Moisander, P., Tobias, C., Wilson, S., Benavides, M., Bonnet, S., Mulholland, M. & Chang, B. (2020). A critical review of the 15N2 tracer method to measure diazotrophic production in pelagic ecosystems. Limnology & Oceanography: Methods, 18(4), p. 129-147.


Selden, C.R., Mulholland, M., Bernhardt, P., Widner, B., Macías-Tapia, A., Ji, Q. & Jayakumar, A. (2019). Dinitrogen fixation across physico-chemical gradients of the Eastern Tropical North Pacific oxygen deficient zone. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 33(9), p. 1187-1202.

Mulholland, M., Bernhardt, P., Widner, B., Selden, C.R., Chappell, D., Mannino, A., Hyde, K. & Clayton, S. (2019). High rates of N2 fixation in temperate, western North Atlantic coastal waters expands the realm of marine N2 fixation. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 33(7), p. 826-840.