Welcome to the Ocean Ecogeochemistry website of Dr. Kelton McMahon at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography.

We are actively engaged in basic and applied research to examine the roles that food web architecture play in the function and resilience of marine ecosystems, and how climate change and human-environment interactions alter those relationships. A central focus of this work is the development and application of cutting edge molecular isotope geochemistry tools to explore the sources and cycling of organic matter as it flows through marine ecosystems. This work takes place all over the World, with projects in Pacific and Red Sea coral reef ecosystems, the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, the Northwest Atlantic Shelf, and the Antarctic Peninsula/Ross Sea.


The McMahon Ocean Ecogeochemistry Lab uses compound-specific stable isotope analysis to explore the sources and cycling of organic matter as it flows through marine ecosystems. Through controlled feeding experiments, our lab develops a quantitative understanding of the biochemical and physiological mechanisms that control resource acquisition and allocation. We then apply this knowledge in large-scale field studies to examine a wide range of questions from individual nutritional ecology and population connectivity to ecosystem-scale food web dynamics and the functioning of the biological pump.


True scientific innovation begins with diverse perspectives, experiences, and approaches. My education mission at GSO is to foster a sense of curiosity and drive in people to ask the questions that promote scientific and social progression, provide the knowledge and skills to find those answers, and leave people with an appreciation for their roles as stewards of our planet. At URI, I teach courses related to ocean sciences and stable isotope geochemistry.

Joining the Lab

Thanks for your interest in joining the newly established McMahon Ocean Ecogeochemistry Lab! We are open to applications from talented students interested in pursing a graduate education in the URI Graduate School of Oceanography.