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Rainer M.W. Amon

Department of Marine Sciences

This is an exciting time to be an earth system scientist. Remember, change is the only constant in life!
Get To Know Rainer M.W. Amon

What in your life drew you to your current field of study?

My love for nature always kept my focus on a career dealing with the natural world in my early life. Later on the realization that the rapid changes we are observing on the planet might be the biggest challenge mankind has ever faced. This is an enormously exciting time to work on climate change as a scientist and a worthy cause to lean into it with everything you have got!

What do you hope your students gain from studying or working with you?

I hope to give my students the skill set to distinguish scientific facts from pseudo science and to teach them to appreciate the natural world around them.

What are you passionate about in your personal life?

My family and nature.
Ph.D. Limnology/ Ecology, University of Vienna, Austria, 1996
Ph.D. Marine Sciences, University of Texas at Austin, 1995

M.S. Zoology/Marine Biology, University of Vienna, Austria, 1990

B.S. Zoology/Marine Biology, University of Vienna, Austria, 1986
Courses Taught

MARS 440: Introduction to Chemical Oceanography
MARS 481:
Marine Sciences Seminar
OCNG 420:
Introduction to Biological Oceanography
Marine Biogeochemistry
Modern Oceanographic Observational & Analysis Methods


Amon, RMW, (2016) Carbon cycle: Ocean dissolved organics matter. Nature Geoscience 9, 864–865

Duan*, S., R.M.W. Amon, R. L. Brinkmeyer (2014). Tracing sources of organic matter in adjacent urban streams having different degrees of channel modification. Science of The Total Environment: 485–486, Pages 252–262: DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.03.066

Anderson L., RMW Amon (2015). Dissolved organic matter in the Arctic Ocean. In: Biogeochemistry of Marine Dissolved Organic Matter, 2nd edition. Elsevier

Walker* S.A., R.M.W. Amon, C. Stedmon (2013), Variations in high latitude chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM): A comparison of large Arctic Rivers, J. Geophys. Res: Biogeosciences, 118, doi:10.1002/2013JG002320.

Amon RMW, A.J. Rinehart*, S. Duan, P. Louchouarn, P. Raymond, R.M. Holmes, J.W. McClelland, BJ Peterson, G. Guggenberger, A. Prokushkin, C. Stedmon, S.A. Walker*. (2012). Dissolved organic matter sources in large Arctic rivers. GCA 94: 217-237: doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2012.07.015

Amon, R.M.W. and Meon*, B., 2004. The biogeochemistry of dissolved organic matter and nutrients in two large Arctic estuaries and potential implications for our understanding of the Arctic Ocean system. Mar. Chem., 92: 311-330.

Amon, R.M.W, G. Budeus & B. Meon*. 2003. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) distribution and origin in the Nordic Seas: Exchanges with the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic. J. Geophys. Res.-Oceans: Vol. 108, No. C7,3221, doi:10.1029/2002JC001594.

Amon, RMW & R Benner, 1996: Bacterial utilization of different size classes of dissolved organic matter. Limnol. Oceanogr.: 41/1:41-51

Amon, RMW & R Benner, 1996: Photochemical and microbial consumption of dissolved organic carbon and dissolved oxygen in the Amazon River system. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta: 60/10: 1783-1792

Amon, RMW & R Benner, 1994: Rapid cycling of high-molecular-weight dissolved organic matter in the ocean. Nature. 369:549-552
*Amons' students and postdocs

*Amons' students and postdocs


Amon, RMW, A Anis, S Molodtsov, AS Prokushkin, SA Yvon-Lewis, D. Li, A Panov, G Guggenberger, I Solnyshkin. Gas exchange coefficients, GHG concentrations and isotopic composition, and corresponding gas fluxes along the Siberian River, Yenisei. presented at 2018 ASLO Meeting, Vancouver, Canada, 10-15 June.

Molodtsov*, S, A Anis, RMW Amon, S. F. DiMarco, P. Perez-Brunius, Glider based turbulence observations in Gulf of Mexico presented at the European Geophysical Union Meeting, Vienna, Austria, 8-13 April.

Amon, RMW, A Anis, G Guggenberger, S Molodtsov, A Panov, AS Prokushkin, I Solnyshkin, and SA Yvon-Lewis, Concentrations, Isotopic Composition and Fluxes of CO2 and CH4 in one of the Largest Siberian River Systems, the Yenisei, [BN51A-06] presented at 2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting, Portland, OR, 12-16 Feb.

Molodtsova*, T., RMW Amon, RH Benner, K. Kaiser, D. Bauch and G. Yan, Relationships between Dissolved Organic Matter, Hydrography, and Trace Elements in the Makarov and Canada Basin of the Arctic Ocean, [CT44A-1351] presented at 2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting, Portland, OR, 12-16 Feb.

Molodtsov*, S, D Li, A Anis, RMW Amon, A Panov, AS Prokishkin and SA Yvon-Lewis, Estimation of Gas Exchange Coefficients from Observations on Yenisei River, [AI34E-1693] presented at 2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting, Portland, OR, 12-16 Feb.

Molodtsov*, S., A. Anis, R M W Amon, P. Perez-Brunius. Glider based turbulence measurements in the Gulf of Mexico [OS31A-1390], presented at 2017 Fall Meeting, AGU, New Orleans, LA, 11-15 Dec.

Amon, RMW, K. Aagaard, L. Anderson, R Benner, R. Newton, J. Swift, K. Kaiser. The hydrography of CDOM in the Arctic Ocean: Implications for the carbon and freshwater cycle. ASLO, February 2017, Honolulu, USA

Molodtsova*, T., R.M.W. Amon, K. Kaiser, C. Stedmon, S. Walker. Relationships between dissolved organic matter, hydrography, and trace elements in the Eurasian Arctic Ocean. ASLO, February 2017, Honolulu, USA

Molodtsova*, T., R.M.W. Amon. Optical sensing of Terrestrial Organic Matter across the Eastern and Central Arctic Ocean. AGU, San Francisco, December 2016

Amon, RMW. The use of terrigenous dissolved organic matter to trace water masses in the Arctic Ocean, June 19, 2015, CICESE, Ensenada, Mexico (invited)

Amon, RMW. Tracing terrigenous dissolved organic matter in Arctic watersheds and Ocean. Lower Yenisei Observation Workshop, July 18-22, 2015, Russia

*Amons' students and postdocs

Grants and Fellowships

2015-2020: SENER/Conacyt (Mexican Research Foundation); CIGOM: Hydrocarbon Fund: Study of Oceanography and Evaluation of Oil Spill Scenarios (PI on subcontract for U$ 985,000)

2016-2018: NSF-OCE Chemical Oceanography; Development of a high sensitivity, low sample volume method to quantify lignin phenols as geochemical and water mass tracer in the open ocean (co-PI – 256,841)

2015-2018: NSF-PLR Arctic Natural Sciences; Collaborative research: Does dissolved organic matter influence the concentrations and distributions of trace elements in the Arctic Ocean? (PI – 399,600)

2016-2017: NSF-PLR Arctic Natural Sciences; Estimating fluxes of CO2 and CH4 along the Siberian Yensei River (PI – 49,457)

2014-2017: Russian Science Foundation; Sensitivity of carbon fluxes in the land-atmosphere-hydrosphere system of the Yenisei River catchment to climate variability (co-PI – U$ 43,000)

Awards & Recognition

1994: E.J. Lund Fellowship, (University of Texas, Marine Science Institute)

1993: J. C. Barton Fellowship, (University of Texas, Marine Science Institute)

1992: Fulbright Fellowship

1991: Fulbright Fellowship

1990: Theodor-Körner-Preis (Austrian Science Award)

Professional Appointments

Department of Oceanography - Joint Appointment

Department of Marine Biology - Graduate Appointment

Texas Center for Climate Studies (TCCS) - Affiliated Faculty

1996-2003: Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Germany - Research Scientist

Current Graduate Students

Tatiana Molodtsova, Ph.D. student

Sergey Molodtsov, Ph.D. student

Stephanie Mohan, Research Associate

Contact Info

Rainer M.W. Amon
Department of Marine Sciences
Phone: +1 (409) 740-4719
Fax: +1 (409) 740-4429

Ocean & Coastal Studies Bldg., Office 351