Tomoko Komada


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headshot of Tomoko Komada
Professor of Chemistry
Marine Biogeochemistry
(415) 338-3748


Research Interests
My research focuses on understanding the organic carbon cycle, with emphasis on the processes taking place at the land-ocean margin. I utilize natural abundance radiocarbon (14C), in conjunction with the stable isotope 13C, to investigate the sources, cycling, and fate of various organic carbon pools in the environment. Topics of interest include: sediment biogeochemistry and the significance of coastal benthic processes in organic matter dynamics, composition of organic matter suspended in rivers and its fate in the ocean, and the role of organic-mineral associations in organic matter degradation and preservation.

Selected Papers
Abdulla H. A., Burdige D. J., Komada T. (in press) Abiotic formation of dissolved organic sulfur in anoxic sediments of Santa Barbara Basin. Organic Geochemistry

Richard H., Carpenter E. J., Komada T., Palmer P. T., Rochman C. M. (2019) Biofilm facilitates metal accumulation onto microplastics in estuarine waters. Science of the Total Environment 683, 600-608.

Fox C. A., Abdulla H. A., Burdige D. J., Lewicki J. P., Komada T. (2018) Composition of dissolved organic matter in pore waters of anoxic marine sediments analyzed by 1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy. Frontiers in Marine Science 5, 172.

Abdulla H. A., Burdige D. J., Komada T. (2018) Accumulation of deaminated peptides in anoxic sediments of the Santa Barbara Basin. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 223, 245-258.

Komada T., Burdige D. J., Magen C., Li H. -L., Chanton J. P. (2016) Recycling of organic matter in the sediments of Santa Monica Basin, California Borderland. Aq. Geochem. 22, 593-618.

Burdige D. J., Komada T., Magen C., Chanton J. P. (2016) Modeling studies of dissolved organic matter cycling in Santa Barbara Basin (CA, USA) sediments. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 195, 100–119.

Burdige D. J., Komada T., Magen C., Chanton J. P. (2016) Carbon cycling in Santa Barbara Basin sediments: A modeling study. J. Mar. Res. 74, 133–159.

Komada T., Burdige D. J., Li H. -L., Magen C., Chanton J. P., Cada A. K. (2016) Organic matter cycling across the sulfate-methane transition zone of the Santa Barbara Basin, California Borderland. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 176, 259-278.

Burdige D. J., Komada T. (2015) Sediment pore waters. In: Dennis A. Hansell and Craig A. Carlson (eds.) Biogeochemistry of Marine Dissolved Organic Matter, pp. 535-577. Burlington: Academic Press. 

Benner I., Diner R. E, Lefebvre S. C., Li D., Komada T., Carpenter E. J., and Stillman J. H. (2013) Emiliania huxleyi increases calcification but not expression of calcification-related genes in long-term exposure to elevated temperature and pCO2. Phil. Trans. Royal Soc. B. 368, doi:10.1098/rstb.2013.0049.

Burdige D. J., Komada T. (2013) Using ammonium pore water profiles to assess stoichiometry of deep remineralization processes in methanogenic continental margin sediments. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. 14, 1626-1643.

Komada T., Burdige D. J., Crispo S. M., Druffel E. R. M., Griffin S., Johnson L., and Le D. (2013) Dissolved organic carbon dynamics in anaerobic sediments of the Santa Monica Basin. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 110, 253-273. 

Komada T. Polly, J. A., and Johnson L. (2012) Transformations of carbon in anoxic marine sediments: Implications from Δ14C and δ13C signatures. Limnol. Oceanogr. 57, 567-581.

Lefebvre S. C., Benner I., Stillman J. H., Parker A. E., Drake M. K., Rossignol P. E., Okimura K. M, Komada T., and Carpenter E. J. (2012) Nitrogen source and pCO2 synergistically affect carbon allocation, growth and morphology of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi: potential implications of ocean acidification for the carbon cycle. Global Change Biol. 18, 493-503.

Johnson L. and Komada T. (2011) Determination of radiocarbon in marine sediment porewater dissolved organic carbon by thermal sulfate reduction. Limnol. Oceanogr. Meth. 9, 485-498.

Komada T., Reimers C. E., Luther, G. W. III, and Burdige D. J. (2004) Factors affecting dissolved organic matter dynamics in suboxic to anoxic coastal sediments. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 68, 4099-4111.

Komada T., Druffel E. R. M., and Trumbore S. E. (2004) Oceanic export of relict carbon by small mountainous rivers. Geophys. Res. Lett. 31, L07504, doi:10.1029/2004GL019512.