Contact InformationSchool of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
P.O. Box 757220
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7220
Vera Alexander Professor Emeritus
- Arctic limnology and biological oceanography, with emphasis on nitrogen cycles and primary productivity
- B.A. 1955 University of Wisconsin Madison (Zoology)
- M.S. 1962 University of Wisconsin Madison (Zoology)
- Ph.D. 1965 University of Alaska Fairbanks (Marine Science)
I stepped down from the position of Dean, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks, in 2004. Most recently, I was Special Assistant to the Provost for Fisheries and Oceans Policy. I am one of three Commissioners on the United States Marine Mammal Commission and, having been the US Academic Delegate to PICES (the North Pacific Marine Science Organization), was elected Chairman in October 2003. I also Chair the International Committee for the Society of Sigma Xi. I have served on the International Steering Committee for the Census of Marine Life since its inception, and am currently also serving on the U.S. National Committee.
My past research has included studies of freshwater, terrestrial and marine nitrogen cycling and primary productivity, mostly in high latitude ecosystems. I have had a strong interest in field studies of nitrogen fixation, and pioneered the use of nitrogen 15 as a tracer to measure nitrogen fixation rates in fresh water systems. Ultimately, this led to work on nitrogen uptake, nitrification and denitrification in taiga and tundra ecosystems.
Another area of interest has been the role of sea ice in arctic marine primary production. Initially I worked on ice algae in the nearshore Beaufort Sea, but more recently my colleagues and I have studied phytoplankton blooms at the retreating ice edge in the Bering Sea in spring. Emphasis has been on the relationship between bloom dynamics to physical oceanographic conditions and nutrient availability, including nitrogen utilization and primary production. I have more than 70 papers published in the refereed literature, authored or co-authored.
In Refereed Journals
Gu, B. and V. Alexander. 1996. Stable carbon isotope evidence for atmospheric CO2 uptake by cyanobacterial surface scums in a eutrophic lake. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 62:1803-1804.
Niebauer, H. J., V. Alexander, and S. Henrichs. 1995. Time series of the spring bloom from the Bering Sea ice edge in spring. Cont. Shelf Res. 15:1859-1877.
Elsner, R., V. Alexander, and T. C. Royer. 1995. Meeting the challenge, research vessel support in the Arctic. MTS Journal 28:28-33.
Gu, B., D. M. Schell, and V. Alexander. 1994. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis of a plankton food web in a subarctic lake. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 51:1338-1344.
Gu, B. and V. Alexander. 1993. Dissolved nitrogen uptake by a cyanobacterial bloom (Anabaena flos-aquae) in a subarctic Alaska lake. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 59:422-430.
Gu, B. and V. Alexander. 1993. Estimation of N2 fixation based in differences in the natural abundance of 15N among freshwater N2-fixing and non-N2-fixing algae. Oecologia 96:43-48.
Gu, B. and V. Alexander. 1993. Seasonal variations in dissolved inorganic nitrogen utilization by phytoplankton in a subarctic Alaska lake. Arch. Hydrobiol. 126:273-288.
Alexander, V. 1992. Characteristics of low trophic levels in the high latitudinal area. Part 2: The role of sea ice in the primary productivity regime of the Bering Sea shelf. Bull. Jap. Soc. Fish. Oceanog. 56(10):34.
Goering, J., V. Alexander, and N. Haubenstock. 1990. Seasonal variability of stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios of organisms in a North Pacific bay. Est. Coast. Mar. Sci. 30:239-260.