Leigh McCallister

S. Leigh McCallister, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

(804) 827-0234

Trani Life Sciences Building, 1000 W. Cary St., room B009

Curriculum vitae


  • Ph.D. Marine Science, College of William and Mary, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, 2002
  • B.A. Biology, University of Virginia, 1993
  • B.A. Environmental Science, University of Virginia, 1993

Research Interests

  • Biotic and abiotic factors influencing the age of organic carbon in fluvial, estuarine, coastal and open ocean ecosystems
  • Biogeochemical transformations of organic carbon along the land to sea continuum
  • The sources and ages of organic carbon fueling microbial anabolic and catabolic pathways
  • The importance of terrestrial organic carbon subsidies to microbial and higher trophic food webs in aquatic ecosystems

Select Publications

  • McCallister, S.L., J.E. Bauer, J. Cherrier, and H.W. Ducklow.  2004. Assessing the sources and ages of organic matter supporting estuarine bacterial production:  A multiple-isotope (d13C, d15N, D14C) approach.  Limnology and Oceanography 49: 1687-1702. 
  • McCallister, S.L., J.E. Bauer, H.W. Ducklow, and E.A. Canuel.  2006.  Sources of estuarine dissolved and particulate organic matter: a multi-tracer approach.  Organic Geochemistry 37: 454-468. 
  • McCallister, S.L. and P.A. del Giorgio. 2012. Evidence for the respiration of ancient terrestrial organic C in northern temperate lakes and streams. Proceedings of National Academy of Science 109: 16963-16968.
  • Guillemette, F., S.L. McCallister and P.A. del Giorgio. 2013. Differentiating the degradation dynamics of algal and terrestrial carbon within complex natural dissolved organic carbon in temperate lakes. Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences.  118: 963-973.
  • Lechtenfeld, O.J., G. Kattner, R. Flerus, S.L. McCallister, P. Schmitt-Kopplin and Koch, B.P.  2014.  Molecular transformation and degradation of refractory dissolved organic matter in the Atlantic and Southern Ocean.  Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta.  126: 321-337.


  • BIOL 307: Aquatic Ecology
  • BIOL 317: Ecology
  • BIOL 431: Introduction to Marine Biology
  • BIOL 475: Capstone: The Global Water Crisis
  • ENVS 411: Oceanography