Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Ralph Mead


  • B.S. Florida State University
  • Ph.D. Florida International University

Professional Activities

2007 to present - Assistant Professor: Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of North Carolina Wilmington

2005 to 2007 - Assistant Professor, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Division of Marine and Atmospheric Chemistry, University of Miami

2003 to 2005 - Post Doctoral Associate, Department of Geological Sciences, University of South Carolina. (Advisor: M. A. Goñi).

Research Area: Marine Organic Geochemistry

My research interests broadly encompass the field of Organic Geochemistry with emphasis on tracing naturally derived organic carbon in the marine environment. Specifically, my research can be broken down into four areas which include:

  • Carbon cycling within river dominated margins and smaller estuarine systems
  • The use of bulk and compound specific stable carbon isotopic analysis to elucidate the source and cycling of organic matter within the marine environment
  • Development of new analytical techniques for organic geochemical analysis
  • Reconstruction of past ecosystem dynamics through combined molecular and isotopic techniques
  • Organic-mineral interactions in the marine environment

Some areas where I have worked on these interests include Everglades National Park, Northern Gulf of Mexico near the Atchafalaya River and the Mackenzie River.

Representative Publications

Mendoza W.G., Mead R.N., Brand L.E., Shea D. (2007).Analysis and detection of brevetoxin analogs in recent marine sediments by HPLC. Submitted Chemosphere

Mead R. N., Goñi M. (2007) Matrix Protected Organic Matter in a River Dominated Margin: A Possible Mechanism to Sequester Terrestrial Organic Matter? Submitted Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta

Mead, R., Goñi, M.A., (2006). A lipid molecular marker assessment of sediments from the Northern Gulf of Mexico before and after the passage of HurricaneLili. Organic Geochemistry 37, 1115-1129

Neto, R., Mead, R., Louda, J.W., and Jaffé, R. (2006) Organic biogeochemistry of detrital flocculent material (floc) in a subtropical, coastal wetland. Biogeochemistry 77, 283-304

Xu, Y, Mead, R., Jaffe R., (2006). A molecular marker based assessment of sedimentary organic matter sources and distributions in Florida Bay. Hydrobiologia 569, 179-192

Representative Grants, Fellowships and Awards

NIEHS Pilot Project Award $5,000

Florida State University Presidential Scholarship

Current courses

CHM 211

CHM 312

CHM 512

CHML 312

CHML 512