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Chesapeake Bay Program

Staff: Water Quality PI

John R. Donat
Associate Professor

Dr. John R. Donat is a marine environmental chemist /analytical chemist/chemical oceanographer in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department who holds a joint appointment in the Oceanography Department. He came to ODU in 1992, with a B.S. in Chemical Oceanography (1978) from Humboldt State University (Arcata, California), and a Ph.D. in Chemistry (1988) from the University of California at Santa Cruz. He was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Liverpool (England: 1988-89), and the University of California, Santa Cruz (1989-91).  

Research Interests:

Dr. Donat's research interests include the speciation (i.e., chemical forms) and concentrations of trace metals in natural waters and the factors affecting them;  the relationship between trace metal speciation and concentrations and metal-phytoplankton interactions; the concentrations and nature of natural organic metal chelators in natural waters; develop¬ment and application of analytical methods for trace analysis in aquatic chemistry.  Dr. Donat's research has attracted over $6 million in grant and contract funding from the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Effects Committee, and the New York Sea Grant Program.


 Dryden, C.L., A.S. Gordon, and J.R. Donat. 2004.  Interactive regulation of dissolved copper toxicity by an estuarine microbial community. Limnology and  Oceanography, 49(4):204-211.

Wei, L., J.R. Donat, G. Fones, and B.A. Ahner. 2003. Interactions between Cd, Cu, and Zn influence particulate phytochelatin concentrations in marine phytoplankton: Laboratory results and preliminary field data.  Environmental Science and Technology, 37(16): 3609-3618.

Gobler, C.J., S. Sañudo-Wilhelmy, J.R. Donat, and J.A. Consolvo III. 2002.  Physicochemical speciation of iron in the Peconic Estuary: Observations during algal blooms.  Marine Chemistry, 77: 71-89.

Donat, J.R. and C.L. Dryden.  2001.  Elemental Distribution: Transition and Heavy Metal Speciation, in: Encyclopedia of Ocean Sciences, J. Steele, S. Thorpe, and K. Turekian (Eds.)  Academic Press, Inc., London.

Powell, R.T. and J.R. Donat. 2001. Organic complexation and speciation of dissolved iron in the South and Equatorial Atlantic.  Deep Sea Research II,  48(13): 2877-2893.

Ndungu, K., J.R. Donat, M. Thomas, J.A. Consolvo III, and A.R. Flegal. 2001.  Intercalibrated lead concentration measurements in the Atlantic Ocean.  Deep Sea Research II, 48(13): 2781-2786.

Gordon, A.S., J.R. Donat, R.A. Kango, B.J. Dyer, and L.M. Stuart. 2000.  Dissolved copper-complexing ligands in cultures of marine bacteria and in estuarine waters.  Marine Chemistry, 70: 149-160.

Skrabal, S.A., J.R. Donat, and D.J. Burdige. 2000.  Pore water distributions of dissolved copper and copper-complexing ligands in estuarine sediments.  Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 64(11): 1843-1857.

Bruland, K.W., E.L. Rue, P. Kozelka, J.R. Donat, J.W. Moffett, and S.A. Skrabal. 2000. Inter-comparison of voltammetric techniques to determine the chemical speciation of dissolved copper in a coastal seawater sample.  Analytica Chimica Acta, 405: 99-113.

Gordon, A.S., J.R. Donat, R.A. Kango, and L.M. Stuart. 1998.  Copper-responsive production of high-affinity, extracellular copper-complexing ligands from chemostat cultures of marine bacteria (Synechococcus WH7803 and Vibrio alginolyticus). Recent  Research  Developments  in Microbiology, 2:567-577.

Skrabal, S.A., J.R. Donat, and D.J. Burdige.  1997.  Fluxes of copper-complexing ligands from estuarine sediments.  Limnology and  Oceanography, 42(5): 992-996.

Donat, J.R., R.A. Kango, and A.S. Gordon.  1997.  Evaluation of immobilized metal affinity chromatography for isolation and recovery of strong copper-complexing ligands from marine waters.  Marine Chemistry,  57: 1-10.

Gordon, A.S., B.J. Dyer, R.A. Kango, and J.R. Donat.  1996.  Copper ligands isolated from estuarine waters by immobilized metal affinity chromatography: temporal variability and partial characterization.  Marine  Chemistry, 53: 163-172.

Donat, J.R. and K.W. Bruland.  1995.  Trace metals in the oceans, Chapter 11 in:  E. Steinnes and B. Salbu (Eds.),  Trace Elements in Natural Waters, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FLA, 302 p.

Donat, J.R., K.A. Lao, and K.W. Bruland.  1994.  Speciation of dissolved copper and nickel in South San Fran¬cisco Bay:  A multi method approach.  Analytica Chimica Acta, 284(3):  547 571.

Donat, J.R. and C.M.G. van den Berg.  1992.  A new cathodic stripping voltammetric technique for determining organic complexation of copper in seawater.  Marine Chemistry, 38(1 2):  69 90.

Van den Berg, C.M.G. and J.R. Donat, 1992.  Determination and data evaluation of copper complexation by organic ligands in sea water using cathodic stripping voltammetry at varying detection windows.  Analyti¬ca Chimica Acta, 257:  281-291.

Bruland, K.W., J.R. Donat, and D.A. Hutchins. 1991.  Interactive influences of bioactive trace metals on biolog¬ical production in oceanic waters.  Limnology and Oceanography,  36(8):  1555 1577.

Donat, J.R. and K.W. Bruland. 1990.  A comparison of two voltammetric techniques for determining zinc specia¬tion in Northeast Pacific Ocean waters.  Marine Chemistry, 28:  301 323.

Donat, J.R.  Trace metals in seawater:  Simultaneous determination of cobalt and nickel and a field comparison of techniques for determining organic complexation of copper and zinc.  Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Santa Cruz, June, 1988.

Donat, J.R. and K.W. Bruland.  1988.  Simultaneous determination of dissolved cobalt and nickel in seawater by cathodic stripping voltammetry preceeded by collection of cyclohexane  1,2 dione dioxime complexes. Analytical Chemistry, 60: 240  244.

Donat, J.R., P.J. Statham, and K.W. Bruland. 1986.  An evaluation of a C 18 solid phase extraction technique for isolating metal organic complexes from central North Pacific Ocean waters.  Marine  Chemistry, 18: 85 99.