Gregory (Greg) Cutter is a Professor of Oceanography in the Department of Ocean, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences at Old Dominion University, a public institution in Virginia, USA, where he has been since 1982. His research interests are the biogeochemical processes affecting trace element speciation and distributions in natural waters and sediments, the air-sea transport and exchange of gases and trace elements, developing new paleoceanographic tracers, and perfecting analytical methods for aquatic chemistry. Otherwise, you’ll find him racing his sailboat in the northwest Atlantic or motorcycling to remote parts of the planet. He has been involved in the development of the international GEOTRACES program since its earliest days in 2001, started the Standards and Intercalibration Committee in 2005, and led the 2008 and 2009 Intercalibration Cruises that developed and tested many of the sampling and sample handling methods used in today’s GEOTRACES cruises. He also helped to design and test the US GEOTRACES CTD and carousel that are now commercially available from Sea-Bird Scientific (USA) and its associated winch, Vectran conducting cable, A-frame, and clean laboratory van.
On the GP15 US GEOTRACES Pacific Meridional Transect, Greg is serving as the chief scientist in charge of the overall science on this expedition. He is specifically overseeing the contamination-prone, trace element sampling that uses the towed fish that continuously pumps clean surface seawater to the clean laboratory bubble, and the GEOTRACES Carousel (GTC) that takes samples from throughout the water column (vertical profiles) that are then processed in the GEOTRACES Clean Lab Van. The individuals working under Greg’s supervision are: Lisa Oswald (event logging, clean lab operations, determinations of zinc and nanomolar nutrients); Kyle McQuiggan (CTD and Fish operations); Laramie Jensen (GTC Supertech); Brent Summer (GTC Super Tech); Sveinn Einarsson (BioGEOTRACES sample collection); and Nicole Buckley (ODU Graduate Student working on hydrogen sulfide as trace metal ligand). Dr. Cutter’s research on this cruise is the examination of how hydrogen sulfide, the smelly gas produced by phytoplankton and another sulfur gas, carbonyl sulfide, affects the reactivity and cycling of numerous trace elements like cadmium, mercury, and zinc. This research is part of Nicole’s thesis work.