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Samantha Joye named Regents’ Professor

Thursday, April 18, 2019 - 2:57pm
Alan Flurry

Samantha Joye, an internationally recognized University of Georgia marine scientist who studies the complex interplay between microbes and large-scale ecological processes in the oceans, has been named Regents’ Professor, effective July 1:

Joye is Athletic Association Professor of Arts and Sciences in the department of marine sciences, part of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. Regents’ Professorships are bestowed by the Board of Regents on faculty members whose scholarship or creative activity is recognized nationally and internationally as innovative and pace-setting.


Joye’s work explores the deep ocean and the impact of biogeochemical, ecological and environmental factors on microbes and other marine life. She has pioneered new methods of quantifying environmental factors such as microbial metabolism and geochemical signatures in extreme conditions by visiting the deepest parts of the ocean in manned submersible and remotely operated vehicles.

With 160 peer-reviewed publications and 14 book chapters, Joye’s research has been cited more than 10,000 times, placing her among the top researchers in her field, and she has been awarded nearly 40 public and private research grants since 1997. Her current grants include funding from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, the Schmidt Ocean Institute, the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

“Joye is a force of nature, driven by insatiable curiosity and apparently endless energy. She holds herself, her students and colleagues to the highest standards of thoroughness, rigor and integrity. As a person, a professor and a scientist, she is a powerful role model for both men and women,” Bess Ward, William J. Sinclair Professor of Geosciences at Princeton University, wrote in a nomination letter. “She is a truly distinguished member of the faculty of the University of Georgia.”

After the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion created the largest marine oil spill in history, Joye spearheaded the formation of a team of multidisciplinary researchers from across the nation to determine the environmental impacts of the hydrocarbon inputs on the Gulf of Mexico’s biome. The Ecosystem Impacts of Oil and Gas Inputs to the Gulf (ECOGIG) consortium, which brings together researchers from 16 institutions across the United States, continues its work today and has resulted thus far in 34 seagoing expeditions and more than 110 publications and 300 presentations.

Dr. Joye's contributions as a scholar, researcher, expert and teacher stretch from the deepest seas to the nation's capital, from understanding and monitoring the after-effects of the Deepwater Horizon explosion to appearing in feature films and television series. We're honored to call her a colleague and proud she calls UGA home. 

Image: Regents' professor Samantha Joye

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