Isabel Romero, PhD

Dr. Isabel Romero is an interdisciplinary scientist interested in the fields of marine biology, ecosystem ecology, and molecular organic and isotope geochemistry. Dr. Romero has studied how ecosystems response to natural and induced disturbances in aquatic and terrestrial environments that ultimately affect local and global elemental cycles. As a biogeochemist, she has worked in a wide range of different projects with particular emphasis on factors controlling the nitrogen cycle, molecular isotopic signatures of carbon and hydrogen, and hydrocarbon contamination. Dr. Romero earned her Ph.D. in Ocean Sciences from the University of Southern California in 2009, worked in several projects in contrasting areas (mangroves, wetlands and lakes), and joined the University of South Florida (USF) in 2011. Since joining USF, Dr. Romero has been involved in multiple projects related to the Deepwater Horizon Blowout providing a multi-proxy approach to better understand the fate of the oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico. Her work includes performing geochemistry analyses in sediments and fishes by IRMS, GC-MS and GC-MSMS (bulk carbon and nitrogen isotopes, alkanes, PAHs, hopanes, steranes/diasteranes) and using available hydrocarbon data for elucidating geochemical indicators of ecosystem change. As part of the Consortium DEEPEND, Dr. Romero will be establishing a time series analysis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in pelagic fauna collected from mesopelagic and bathypelagic depths in the Gulf of Mexico. Her work will provide baseline data to estimate levels of PAH exposure and its potential effects in deep-pelagic communities.