Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies

Image: Ripples on water

SF State's bayside marine and estuarine research facility.

Alex Parker - Research Scientist

Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography
Romberg Tiburon Center and Department of Biology

Phone: (415) 338-3746

Dr. Parker

Research Interests

My broad research interest is marine microbial biogeochemistry, addressing questions related to: 1) characterizing underlying controls on phytoplankton and bacterial processes in aquatic systems. 2) quantifying microbial foodweb dynamics 3) understanding microbial responses to coastal nutrient pollution.  I primarily work in urbanized estuaries (Delaware Bay and San Francisco Bay Estuary) where coastal pollution, including large-scale nutrient fertilization, has had major impacts on the microbial community. In addition to my estuarine work, I have also conducted research in the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, the Equatorial Pacific Ocean, the Chukchi Sea (Arctic Ocean) and in Antarctica.

Selected Papers

Parker, A.E., Kimmerer, W.J., Lidstrom, U. 2012. Re-evaluating the generality of empirical models for light-limited primary production in the San Francisco Estuary. Estuaries and Coasts.  35(4):930-942.


Kimmerer, W.J., Parker, A.E., Lidstrom, U. 2012. Short-Term and Interannual Variability in Primary Productivity in the low-salinity zone of the San Francisco Estuary. Estuaries and Coasts. 35(4): 913-929.


Parker, A.E., F.P. Wilkerson, R.C. Dugdale. 2012. Elevated ammonium concentrations from wastewater discharge depress primary productivity in the Sacramento River and the northern San Francisco Estuary. Marine Pollution Bulletin.  64(3):574-586


Lefebvre, S.C., Benner, I., Drake, M.K., Rossignol, P.E., Okimura, K.M., Komada, T., Stillman, J.H., Parker, A.E. Carpenter, E.J. 2012. Nitrogen source and pCO2 synergistically affect carbon allocation, growth and morphology of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyiGlobal Change Biology. 18(2):493-503.
Brooks, M. L., E. Fleishman, L. R. Brown, P. W. Lehman, I. Werner, N. Scholz, C. Mitchelmore, J. R. Lovvorn, M. L. Johnson, D. Schlenk, S. v. Drunick, J. I. Drever, D. M. Stoms, A. E. Parker, and R. Dugdale.  Life Histories, Salinity Zones, and Sublethal Contributions of Contaminants to Pelagic Fish Declines Illustrated with a Case Study of San Francisco Estuary, California, USA. .Estuaries and Coasts35: 603-621.


Blaser, S. Parker, A.E., Wilkerson, F.P. 2011. Effect of two herbicides (diuron and imazapyr) on estuarine phytoplankton carbon assimilation in an experimental study. Interagency Ecological Program for the San Francisco Estuary Newsletter, 24(3):2-11.
Parker, A.E. Cohen, R. 2011. Nutrients and Phytoplankton in Suisun and adjacent Salt Marsh Habitats. In: A Profile of the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. NOAA Office of Coastal Resource Management, Estuarine Reserves Division, Washington, D.C. Ferner, M.C. (editor).


Parker, A.E., Wilkerson, F., Dugdale R.C., Hogue, V., Marchi, A. 2011.  Understanding spatial patterns in nitrogen uptake and phytoplankton in the equatorial Pacific upwelling zone (110ºW – 140ºW) during 2004 and 2005. Deep Sea Research II. 58 (3-4): 417-433.


Dugdale, R.C., Brzezinski, M, Nelson, D, Chai, F. ,Measures, C., Parker, A.E., Wilkerson, F. 2011.  The regulation of Equatorial Pacific pCO2 by diatoms.  Deep Sea Research II  58 (3-4): 477-493.


Strutton, P.G., Palacz, A, Dugdale, D., Chai, F., Marchi, A., Parker, A., Hogue, V. Wilkerson, F. 2011.  The impact of equatorial Pacific tropical instability waves on hydrography and nutrients: 2004-2005. Deep Sea Research II. 58 (3-4): 284-296.


Brzezinski, M.A., Baines, S., Chai, F., Balch, W.M., Dugdale, R.C., Krause, J.W., Landry, M.R., Marchi, A., Measures, C.I., Nelson, D.M., Parker, A.E., Selph, K.E., Strutton, P., Taylor, A.G., Twining, B.S., Beucher, C. 2011. Co-limitation of diatoms by iron and silicic acid in the equatorial Pacific. Deep Sea Research II.  58 (3-4): 493-512.


Parker, A.E., Marchi, A., Drexel-Davidson, J., Dugdale, R.C., Wilkerson, F.P. 2010. Effect of ammonium and wastewater effluent on riverine phytoplankton in the Sacramento River, CA.  Final Report to the State Water Resources Control Board. 73Pps.


Sharp, J.H., Yoshiyama, K., Parker, A.E., Schwartz, M. C., Curless, S. E., Beauregard, A.Y., Ossolinski, J., Davis, A.R.  2009. The chemistry of the Delaware Estuary: seasonal and spatial trends and correlations. Estuaries and Coasts  32(6): 1023-1043


Kirchman, D.L., Hill, V, Cottrell, M.T., Gradinger, R., Malmstrom R.R., Parker, A.E.  2008 Primary production and the processing of organic carbon by heterotrophic bacteria in the western Arctic Ocean. Deep Sea Research II, 56(17): 1237-1248.


Parker, A.E., Fuller, J., Dugdale, R.C. 2006. Estimating dissolved inorganic carbon concentrations from salinity in San Francisco bay for use in 14C – primary production studies. Interagency Ecological Program for the San Francisco Estuary,19(3): 17-22


Cottrell, M. T., R. R. Malmstrom, Hill, V. Parker, A.E. Kirchman, D.L. 2006. The metabolic balance between autotrophy and heterotrophy in the western Arctic Ocean. Deep Sea Research Part I 53(11): 1831-1844.


Parker, A. E. 2005. Differential supply of autochthonous organic carbon and nitrogen to the microbial loop of the Delaware Estuary.Estuaries 28(6): 856-867.


Sharp, J. H., A. Y. Beauregard, Burdige, D., Cauwet, G., Curless, S. E.,Lauck, R., Nagel, K., Ogawa, H., Parker, A. E., Primm, O. 2004. A direct instrument comparison for measurement of total dissolved nitrogen in seawater. Marine Chemistry 84(3-4): 181-193.

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