John Reinfelder
Affiliated Faculty
14 College Farm Rd, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 | Room 260

Full CV | Two Page CV

Research Interests

Our research is concerned with the biogeochemistry of major and trace elements in marine and freshwater ecosystems. We are specifically interested in the accumulation, transformation, and trophic transfer of essential and contaminant trace elements by microorganisms and aquatic animals, biological and abiotic cycling and air-sea exchange of mercury in estuarine and oceanic waters, the physiological ecology of carbon assimilation in marine phytoplankton, and sulfur biogeochemistry in sedimentary basins. Current research activities seek to understand the environmental factors that control the production and bioaccumulation of methylmercury, the form of mercury that biomagnifies in aquatic food webs and is a neurotoxin in birds and mammals. This work is focused on the transformations and bioaccumulation of mercury in Mid-Atlantic estuaries and the pelagic marine ecosystem along the West Antarctic Peninsula. We are also exploring the use of mercury stable isotopes to track mercury in the environment and evaluate trophic connectivity within complex marine food webs. Our research on carbon assimilation in marine phytoplankton is focused on the coordinated regulation of carbon metabolism and nutrient demand by carbon dioxide in marine diatoms.

Short History

Reinfelder received a B.A. in Biology from Johns Hopkins University in 1987 and a Ph.D. in Coastal Oceanography from Stony Brook University in 1993. Following his graduate studies, Reinfelder worked as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Research Associate in the Geosciences Department at Princeton. He joined the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers in 1996.

Teaching Efforts


Chemical Principles of Environmental Science
Water Chemistry
Applications of Aquatic Chemistry
Byrne Freshman Seminar: Exploring New Jersey’s Waterways by Boat