Siddhartha Mitra

Dr. Siddhartha Mitra – Professor

Office Graham 209

Phone 252-328-6611

Organic Geochemistry

Ph.D. Virginia Institute of Marine Science (Marine Science, 1997)
M.S. New Jersey Institute of Technology (Chemistry and Environmental Science, 1991)
B.S. Lehigh University (Mechanical Engineering, 1988)

Dr. Mitra may be reached via email :

Last Updated: September 2020

Current Professional and Scholarly Interests

My overall scientific objective is to understand how natural organic matter as well as anthropogenic organic contaminants cycle in the environment. Specific areas of my on-going research include:

Research Website

New Video Of Our Recent NSF-Funded Project

Course Information


Mitra’s Complete Vitae – Updated August 2020

REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS (*graduate advisees; **undergraduate advisees)
Google Scholar H-Index: 22 (August 2020)

  1. Wozniak, A.S., Goranov, A.I., Mitra, S., Bostick, K.W., Zimmerman, A.R., Schleshinger, D.R., Myneni, S., Hatcher, P.G. 2020. Molecular heterogeneity in pyrogenic dissolved organic matte4r from a thermal series of oak and grass chars. Organic Geochemistry, 148: 104065.
  2. Bostick, K.W., Zimmerman, A.R., Goranov, A., Mitra, S., Hatcher, P.G., Wozniak, A.S. Biolability of Fresh and Photodegraded Pyrogenic Dissolved Organic Matter from Laboratory-Prepared Chars. 2020. Earth and Space Science Open Archive.
  3. Moore, C.R., Brooks, M.J., Goodyear, A.C., Ferguson, T.A., Perrotti, A.G., Mitra, S., Listecki, A.M.**, King, B.C.**, Mallinson, D., and 9 others. 2019. Sediment Cores from White Pond, South Carolina, contain a Platinum Anomaly, Pyrogenic Carbon Peak, and Coprophilous Spore Decline at 12.8 ka. Nature Scientific Reports,15121, doi:10.1038/s41598-019-51552-8.
  4. Mulligan, R.P., Mallinson, D.J., Clunies, G. J., Rey, A., Culver, S.J., Zaremba, N., Leorri, E., Mitra, S. 2019. Estuarine responses to long-term changes in inlets, morphology and sea-level rise. Journal of Geophysical Research Oceans,
  5. Degan, J., Hicks, M., Mitra, S., Webb, P., & Lichtenwalner, C. S. 2019. Dynamic Air-Sea Interactions. OOI Data Labs Collection.
  6. Collier, D.N., Robinson, A., Mitra, S., et al. 2019. Tapping Out: Influence of Organoleptic and Perceived Health Risks on Bottled Versus Municipal Tap Water Consumption Among Obese, Low Socioeconomic Status Pediatric Patients. Exposure Health.
  7. Mazow, L., Mitra, S., Kimmel, D., Grieve, S. 2018. Extraction and Analysis of Total Lipids in Late Iron Age Bathshaped basins from the Levant as a Means of Assessing Vessel Function. Journal of Archeological Science Reports, 22: 193-201.
  8. Mitra, S., Benfield, B.* 2018. Ibuprofen Sorption to Coastal Plain Soils. Journal of Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 229: 295-307.
  9. Bostick, K.W., Zimmerman, A.R., Hatcher, P., Mitra, S., and A.S. Wozniak. Production, Composition, and Detection of Pyrogenic Dissolved Organic Matter from Various Biochars and Environmentally-aged Charcoals. 2018. Frontiers in Earth Science: Biogeoscience, v6. DOI: 10.3389/feart.2018.00043.
  10. Leorri, E., Zimmerman, A., Mitra, S., Christian, R., Fatela, F., Mallinson, D. 2018. Refractory organic matter in coastal salt marshes – effect on C sequestration calculations. Science of the Total Environment, 633:391-398. DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.03.120.
  11. Wolbach, W., Ballard, J., Mayewski, Pl, Adedeji, V., Bunch, T., Firestones, R., French, T., Howard, G., Israde-Alcantara, I., Johnson, J., Kimbel, D., Kinzie, C., Kubatov, A., Kletetschka, G., LeCompte, M., Mahaney, W., Melott, A., Mitra, S., Maiorana-Boutilier**, A., and 8 others. 2018a. Extraordinary biomass-burning episode and impact winter triggered by the Younger Dryas cosmic impact ~12,800 years ago; Part 1: Ice cores and glaciers. The Journal of Geology, 126: 165-184. DOI: 10.1086/695703.
  12. Wolbach, W., Ballard, J., Mayewski, Pl, Adedeji, V., Bunch, T., Firestones, R., French, T., Howard, G., Israde-Alcantara, I., Johnson, J., Kimbel, D., Kinzie, C., Kubatov, A., Kletetschka, G., LeCompte, M., Mahaney, W., Melott, A., Mitra, S., Maiorana-Boutilier**, A., and 8 others. 2018b. Extraordinary biomass-burning episode and impact winter triggered by the Younger Dryas cosmic impact ~12,800 years ago; Part 2: Lake, marine, and terrestrial sediments. The Journal of Geology, 126: 185-205. DOI: 10.1086/695704.
  13. Mallinson, D., Culver, S., Leorri, E., Mitra, S., Mulligan, R., Riggs, S. 2018. Barrier island and estuary co-evolution in response to Holocene climate and sea-level change: Pamlico Sound and the Outer Banks Barrier Islands, North Carolina, USA. Chapter 3, pp.91-120. Barrier Island Dynamics, edited by Laura J. Moore, Brad Murray, Springer.
  14. Mitra, S., Osburn, C.L., Wozniak, A.S. 2017. A preliminary assessment of fossil fuel and terrigenous influences to rainwater organic matter in summertime in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Aquatic Geochemistry, DOI: 10.1007/s10498-017-9319-5.
  15. Zimmerman, A.R., Mitra, S. 2017. Trial by Fire: On the terminology and methods used in pyrogenic organic matter research. Frontiers in Environmental Sciences. v5. DOI: 10.3389/feart.2017.00095.
  16. Zaremba, N., Mallinson, D., Leorri, E., Culver, S., Riggs, S., Mulligan, R., Horsman, E., Mitra, S. 2016. Controls on the stratigraphic framework and paleoenvironmental change within a Holocene estuarine system: Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, USA. Marine Geology, 379: 109-123. DOI: 10.1016/j.margeo.2016.04.012.
  17. Mazow, L.B., Mitra, S., Grieve, S.G., Carman, S.L.*, Herrmann, V.R. 2016. Extraction and Analysis of Total Lipids in Reference Materials and from Soil Particles in a Bath-shaped Vessel from Zincirli, Ancient Sam’al, Turkey. Journal of Archaeological Science, 8: 63-69.
  18. Mitra, S., Zimmerman, A.R., Hunsinger, G.B, Woerner, W**. 2014. Black carbon in large river systems. Chapter 9, pp. 200 – 234, IN: Biogeochemical Dynamics at Large River-Coastal Interfaces: Linkages with Global Climate Change, edited by: Bianchi, T.S., Allison, M.A., and Cai, W.J. Cambridge Press, New York, NY.
  19. Kniskern, T.A., Mitra, S., Orpin, A., Harris, C.K., Walsh, J.P., Corbett, D.R. 2014. Characterization of a flood-associated deposit on the Waipaoa River shelf using radioisotopes and terrigenous organic matter abundance and composition. DOI:10.1016/j.csr.2014.04.012.
  20. Xu, K., Corbett, D.R., Walsh, J.P., Young, D., Briggs, K.B., Cartwright, G.M., Friedrichs, C.T., Harris, C.K., Mickey, R.C., Mitra, S. 2014. Seabed Erodibility Variations on the Louisiana Continental Shelf Before and After the 2011 Mississippi River Flood. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science. 149: 283-293. DOI:10.1016/j.ecss.2014.09.002.
  21. Del Rosario, K.L.*, Mitra, S., Humphrey, C., O’Driscoll, M.A. 2014a. Detection of Pharmaceuticals and other Personal Care Products in Groundwater Beneath and Adjacent to Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems in a Coastal Plain Shallow Aquifer. Science of the Total Environment. 487: 216-223. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.03.135.
  22. Del Rosario, K.L.*, Humphrey, C.P., Mitra, S., O’Driscoll, M. 2014b. Nitrogen and carbon dynamics beneath on-site wastewater treatment systems in Pitt County, North Carolina. Water Science and Technology, 69: 663-671. DOI: 10.2166/wst.2013.765.
  23. Mitra, S. 2014. Box 12-01: Why the contents of our medicine cabinets are turning up in our waterways. IN: An Introduction to Human-Environment Geography: Local Dynamics and Global Processes, edited by: Moseley, W.G., Perramond, E., Hapke, H.M., and Laris, P. Wiley-Blackwell Press.
  24. Leorri, E., Mitra, S., Irabien, M. J., Zimmerman, A, Blake, W, Cearreta, A. 2014. A 700 year record of combustion-derived pollution in northern Spain: Tools to identify the Holocene/Anthropocene transition in coastal environments. Science of the Total Environment. 470: 240-247. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.09.064.
  25. Mitra, S., Wozniak, A.S., Miller, R., Hatcher, P.G., Buonassissi, C., Brown, M. 2013. Multiproxy probing of rainwater dissolved organic matter (DOM) composition in coastal storms as a function of trajectory. Marine Chemistry, 154: 67-76. DOI: 10.1016/j.marchem.2013.05.013.
  26. Mitra, S., Kimmel, D.G., Snyder, J.**, Scalise, K.*, McGlaughon, B.D., Roman, M., Jahn, G.L., Pierson, J.J., Brandt, S.B., Montoya, J.P., Campbell, P.L., Rosenbauer, R.J., Lorenson, T.D., Wong, F.D. 2012. Macondo-1 well oil-derived polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in mesozooplankton from the northern Gulf of Mexico. Geophysical Research Letters, VOL. 39, L01605. DOI:10.1029/2011GL049505. FEATURED IN SCIENCE DAILY (March 20, 2012).
  27. Hopwood, M, Mitra, S. Feeding Households: A Multiproxy Method for Analysis of Food Preparation in the Halaf Period, at Fıstıklı Höyük, Turkey. 2012. pp. 217 – 243 in New Perspectives in Household Archaeology, edited by Bradley J. Parker and Catherine P. Foster. Winona Lake, IL: Eisenbrauns Press.
  28. Li, X., Bianchi, T.S., Allison, M.A., Chapman, P., Mitra, S., Zhang, Z., Yang, G., Yu, Z. 2012. Composition, abundance, and age of total organic carbon in surface sediments from the inner shelf of the East China Sea. Marine Chemistry, 145-147: 37-52, DOI: 10.1016/j.marchem.2012.10.001.
  29. Hunsinger, G.B.*, Mitra, S., Findlay, S.E.G., Fischer, D. 2012. Riparian-influenced particulate organic material distributions along the freshwater-tidal Hudson River, New York. Limnology and Oceanography, 57: 1303-1316, DOI: 10.4319/lo.2012.57.5.1303.
  30. Mitra S., Volety, A.K., and Bartel, J**. 2011. Trace Organic Contaminants (PAHS, PCBs, and pesticides) in Oysters Crassostrea virginica, from the Caloosahatchee Estuary and Estero Bay, SW Florida. Chapter 10, pp. 207-220. Pesticides (ISBN 978-953-307-531-0).
  31. Allison, M.A., Dellapenna, T.M., Gordon, E.S., Mitra, S., and Petsch, S.T. 2010. Impact of Hurricane Katrina (2005) on deltaic evolution and shelf organic carbon cycling. Geophysical Research Letters, DOI:10.1029/2010GL044547.
  32. Hunsinger, G. B.*, Mitra, S., Findlay, S.E.G., Fischer, D. 2010. Wetland-driven shifts in suspended particulate organic matter composition of the Hudson River estuary, New York. Limnology and Oceanography. 55: 1653-1667, DOI: 10.4319/lo.2010.55.4.1653.
  33. Mitra, S., Lalicata, J.J.**, Allison, M. A., Dellapenna, T.M. 2009. The Effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on Seabed Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Dynamics in the Gulf of Mexico. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 58: 851-857, DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2009.01.016.
  34. Mitra, S., Zimmerman, A.R., Hunsinger, G.B.*, Willard, D., and Dunn, J.C.* 2009. A Holocene record of climate-driven shifts in coastal carbon sequestration, Geophysical Research Letters, 36, L05704, DOI:10.1029/2008GL036875.
  35. Hunsinger, G.B.*, Mitra, S., Warrick, J.A., Alexander, C.R. 2008. Oceanic Loading of Wildfire-Derived Organic Compounds from a Small Mountainous River. Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences. VOL. 113, G02007, DOI: 10.1029/2007JG000476.
  36. Hammes, K., Schmidt, M.W.I., Currie, L.A. (Ret.), Ball, W.P., Fukudome, M., Nguyen, T.H., Louchouarn, P., Houel, S., Gustafsson, O., Elmquist, M., Cornelissen, G., Smernik, R.J., Skjemstad, J.O., Masiello, C.A., Song, J., Peng, P., Mitra, S., Dunn, J.C.*, et al (28 other coauthors). 2007. Comparison of quantification methods to measure fire-derived (black/elemental) carbon in soils and sediments using reference materials from soil, water, sediment and the atmosphere. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. VOL. 21, GB3016, DOI:10.1029/2006GB002914.
  37. Landrum, P.F., Robinson, S.D., Gossiaux, D.C., You, J., Lydy, M., Mitra, S., TenHulscher, T.E.M. 2007. Predicting Bioavailability for Sediment-Associated Organic Contaminants for Diporeia spp. and oligochaetes. Environmental Science and Technology. 41: 6442-6447.
  38. Rice, S.L**, Mitra, S. 2007. Microwave-Assisted Solvent Extraction of Solid Matrices and Subsequent Detection of Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) Using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry. Analytica Chimica Acta. 589: 125-132.
  39. Kukkonen, J.V.K., Mitra, S., Landrum, P.F., Gossiaux, D.C., Gunnarsson, J., Weston, D.L. 2005. The Contrasting Roles of Plant-derived Carbon Versus Black Carbon on Hydrophobic Organic Contaminant Availability to Diporeia spp. and Lumbriculus variegatus. Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry. 24: 877-885.
  40. Kukkonen, J.V.K., Landrum, P.F., Mitra, S., Gossiaux, D.C., Gunnarsson, J., Weston, D.L. 2004. The Role of Desorption for Describing the Bioavailability of Select PAH and PCB Congeners for Seven Laboratory Spiked Sediments. Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry. 23: 1842-1851.
  41. Kukkonen, J.V.K., Landrum, P.F., Mitra, S., Gossiaux, D.C., Gunnarsson, J., Weston, D.L. 2003. Sediment Characteristics Affecting the Desorption Kinetics of Select PAH and PCB Congeners for Seven Laboratory Spiked Sediments. Environmental Science & Technology. 37: 4656-4663.
  42. Mitra, S. and Bianchi, T.S. 2003. A Preliminary Assessment of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) Distributions in the Lower Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico. Marine Chemistry. 82: 273-288.
  43. Boyd, G.R., Reemtsma, H., Grimm, D.A., Mitra, S. 2003. Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) in Surface and Treated Waters of Louisiana, USA and Ontario, Canada. Science of the Total Environment. 311: 135-149.
  44. Mitra, S., Bianchi, T.S., McKee, B.A., Sutula, M.A. 2002. Sources and Seasonal Discharge of Fossil Fuel-derived Fluvial Black Carbon from the Mississippi River: Implications for the Global Carbon Cycle. Environmental Science & Technology. 36: 2296-2302.
  45. Bianchi, T.S., Mitra, S., McKee, B.A. 2002. Sources of Terrestrially-derived Organic Carbon in Lower Mississippi River Sediments: Implications for Differential Sedimentation and Transport at the Coastal Margin. Marine Chemistry. 77: 211-223
  46. Mitra, S., Klerks, P., Bianchi, T.S., Means, J., and Carman, K. 2000a. Effects of Estuarine Organic Matter Biogeochemistry on the Bioaccumulation of PAHs by Two Epibenthic Species. Estuaries. 23: 864-876.
  47. Mitra, S., Bianchi, T. S., Guo, L., and Santschi, P. H. 2000b. Terrestrially-derived Dissolved Organic Matter in the Chesapeake Bay and the Middle Atlantic Bight. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 64: 3547-3557.
  48. Mitra, S. and Dickhut, R. M. 1999. Three Phase Modeling of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Association with Pore Water Dissolved Organic Carbon. Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry. 18: 1144-1148.
  49. Mitra, S., Dellapenna, T. M., Dickhut., R. M. 1999a. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Distribution within Lower Hudson River Estuarine Sediments: Physical Mixing vs. Sediment Geochemistry. Estuarine Coastal & Shelf Science. 49: 311-326.
  50. Mitra, S., Dickhut, R. M., Kuehl, S. A., Kimbrough, K. L. 1999b. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) Source, Sediment Deposition Patterns, and Particle Geochemistry as Factors Influencing PAH Distribution Coefficients in Sediments of the Elizabeth River, VA, USA. Marine Chemistry. 66: 113-127.
  51. Schaffner, L. C. Dickhut, R. M., Mitra, S., Lay, P., Brower-Riel, C. 1997. Effects of Physical Chemistry and Bioturbation by Estuarine Macrofauna on the Transport and Fate of Hydrophobic Organic Contaminants in the Benthos. Environmental Science & Technology. 31: 3120-3125.