Professor, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences
areas of expertise: distribution of trace elements in the ocean and their use as paleochemical tracers; response of the ocean to anthropogenic lead emissions; relation between dust, iron in the ocean, and marine biological activity, earth sciences
Boyle is a marine geochemist involved in the study of the evolution of the earth's climate and the oceanic dispersal of elements such as iron and lead by natural and anthropogenic dispersion into the atmosphere.
Boyle was one of the pioneers in the development trace element analysis of seawater and in the development of several new proxy tracers for paleoenvironmental processes. He was the first to provide a quantitative assessment of chemical changes in the deep ocean during ice ages. He demonstrated that the deep ocean responded rapidly to abrupt changes in the surface climate. He is using the fallout of industrial lead emissions to document mechanisms of trace metal transport through the atmosphere into remote polar ice sheets, and has reconstructed a record of industrial lead and emissions into the western North Atlantic Ocean for the past 220 years. He has also worked on the key nano-nutrient iron in the ocean.
He served as an editor of the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters for six years, and has been an associate editor for Paleoceanography and Marine Chemistry. He has been a member of the external advisory board of IFM-GEOMAR in Kiel, Germany, for more than 10 years. He currently is serving on the U.S. National Steering Committee of the GEOTRACES program. He has been named a fellow of the AAAS, AGU and European Union of Geosciences. He was named a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2008.
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