- Priority Area: Advancing STEM Diversity
- Disciplines: Biogeochemistry, Microbial Ecology
- Mentors: Dr. Paul Falkowski and Dr. Yair Rosenthal
- Mentors' Disciplines: Microbial Ecology and Evolution; Environmental Biophysics (Dr. Paul Falkowski) | Paleoceanography; Geochemistry (Dr. Yail Rosenthal)
- School: School of Environmental and Biological Sciences
- Department: Marine and Coastal Sciences
About Corday Selden
Microbes mediate the flow of energy and matter through the Earth system. In the ocean, diverse microbial communities repartition key elements and their isotopes among different chemical phases, altering the fate and fluxes of this material. In so doing, these tiny wonders profoundly influence Earth’s geochemical cycles and climate.
Dr. Corday R. Selden’s research weds field-based observations, laboratory experiments and computational methods to investigate interactions between marine microbes and their environment, and the imprints these dynamics impart. As a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Selden will leverage recent AI-driven advances in the field of structural biology to investigate how, mechanistically, cells fractionate bioessential metal isotopes. Addressing this fundamental research question will provide a framework for interpreting metal isotope distribution patterns not only in the environment, facilitating closure of geochemical budgets and development of biosignatures, but also in human bodies where metal isotope fractionation can reflect disease and dysregulation. Concurrently, Dr. Selden will co-teach Biological Oceanography with Dr. Oscar Schofield (Fall 2023), develop an introductory course on Programming for Marine Scientists in collaboration with Dr. Travis Miles (Fall 2024), mentor diverse undergraduates in research practices, and conduct outreach in underserved elementary schools. Moving forward, Dr. Selden will develop an independent and interdisciplinary research program at Rutgers centered on feedbacks between microbial metabolism and global climate, with a particular focus on the role of metals in marine microbial dynamics.
Dr. Selden earned her Ph.D. in Oceanography at Old Dominion University, focusing on nitrogen and carbon cycling in the ocean. For her dissertation, entitled “In the Margins: Reconsidering the Range and Contribution of Diazotrophs in Nearshore Environments”, Dr. Selden was awarded the Entsminger Outstanding Dissertation Award. She subsequently spent two years conducting postdoctoral research in isotope metallomics at Rutgers University under the supervision of Drs. Nathan Yee, Paul Falkowski, and Vikas Nanda and in collaboration with the ENIGMA Research Program.