Dr. Behzad Mortazavi

Dr. Behzad Mortazavi

Senior Marine Scientist II

Associate Professor and Director of The University of Alabama MS program in Marine Sciences


Behzad received his Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from Florida State University in 1998. He directs the Master of Science Program in Marine Science at the University of Alabama and is a Senior Marine Scientist II at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.  Most recently (7/14 to 12/15) he served as a Program Director at the National Science Foundation in the Division of Environmental Biology. Learn more at mortazavilab.ua.edu.

Research Interest

At this time, I am working in the following areas:

  • Nitrogen cycling in nearshore coastal sediments, and specifically denitrification
  • Nitrogen cycling in saltmarshes
  • Methane and carbon dioxide fluxes from saltmarshes
  • Bioremediation for marine oil spills



  • 2017

    Alberti, J., J. Cebrian, F. Alvarez, M. Escapa, K. S. Esquius, E. Fanjul, E. Sparks, B. Mortazavi and O. Iribarne.. Nutrient and herbivore alterations cause uncoupled changes in producer diversity, biomass and ecosystem function, but not in overall multifunctionality Scientific Reports (In Press)

  • 2015

  • 2014 - Accepted

    Wilson, B. B. Mortazavi, and R. P. Kiene. Spatial and temporal variability in methane and carbon dioxide exchange at three coastal marhses along a salinity gradient in a Northern Gulf of Mexico estuary.

  • 2014

  • Putland, J.N., B. Mortazavi, R.L. Iverson and S.W. Wise. Phytoplankton biomass and composition along a Gulf coast estuary salinity gradient.

  • 2013

    Mortazavi, B., B.W. Wilson, F. Dong, M. Gupta, and D. Baer. Validation and application of a cavity -enhanced, near -infrared tunable diode laser absorption spectrometry for measurements of methane carbon isotopes at ambient concentrations.

  • Mortazavi B., A. Horel, M.J. Beazley, and P.A. Sobecky. Intrinsic rates of petroleum hydrocarbon biodegradation in Gulf of Mexico intertidal sandy sediments and its enhancement by organic substrates.

  • Bernard, R., B. Mortazavi, L. Wang, A. Ortmann, H. MacIntyre, and B. Burnett. Spatial and temporal variability in benthic nitrogen fluxes in a eutrophic temperate coastal lagoon.

  • 2012

    Mortazavi, B., Conte, M, Chanton, J., Weber, J.C., Martin, T.A., and W. Cropper.. Carbon isotopic composition of assimilated and respired CO2 in Southeastern US pine forests.

  • Beazley M. J., J. M. Robert, S. Rajan, J. Powell, Y. Piceno, L. Tom, G. L. Andersen, T. C. Hazen, J. D. Van Nostrand, J. Zhou, B. Mortazavi, and P. A. Sobecky. Microbial community response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in a coastal salt marsh.

  • Horel, A., B. Mortazavi, and P.A. Sobecky. Responses of microbial community from Northern Gulf of Mexico sandy sediments following exposure to Deepwater Horizon crude oil.

Who We Are

Our primary affiliation is with the University of Alabama located in Tuscaloosa and the Lab is located at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab where we collaborate with students and faculty from throughout the State. We study biogeochemical cycles in terrestrial and marine ecosystems, with a particular emphasis on how naturally occurring perturbation and anthropogenic activities are impacting the transformations of Carbon and Nitrogen.  We use a combination of field and laboratory efforts and use stable isotopes as well as other state-of-the-art tools and equipment to understand processes in variety of environments ranging from headwater streams, large river, estuaries, marshes, and coastal oceans.  The lab’s research interests are broad and interdisciplinary, requiring collaboration with oceanographers, hydrologists, chemists, microbial ecologists, and plant physiologists.

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