Andrew Babbin

Cecil & Ida Green Career Development Associate Professor
Associate Professor of Chemical Oceanography and Marine Microbiology

Contact Info:

Office Phone






Wahida Abed 617.253.5935

Marine biogeochemist studying the interactions of microbial communities with their chemical environment to understand climate.

Research Interests

The Bablab studies how microbes (bacteria!) shape Earth’s climate by controlling greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. We do this by sailing across the planet, performing high precision experiments in our Cambridge laboratory, and contextualizing our observations with numerical models and theory. Our ultimate aim is to reveal the mechanisms behind how the oceans regulate global climate. From this knowledge, we hope to enable society to make better predictions and adopt new practices in face of a changing planet.

Topics I investigate:

  • Ocean biogeochemistry
  • Nitrogen cycling
  • Carbon sequestration
  • Greenhouse gas production
  • Anaerobic microorganisms

Biographic Sketch

Andrew Babbin joined the EAPS faculty in 2017. After earning a bachelor’s in Earth and environmental engineering, with a minor in applied mathematics, from Columbia University in 2008, Babbin went on to complete doctoral studies in geoscience at Princeton University in 2014. Prior to joining the EAPS faculty, Babbin came to MIT as an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering from 2014-2016.

Key Awards & Honors

  • 2022 • National Science Foundation CAREER award
  • 2021 • Cecil and Ida Green Career Development Professor
  • 2019 • Simons Foundation Early Career Investigator
  • 2019 • MIT First Year Advisor Rookie of the Year
  • 2018 • MIT Sea Grant Doherty Professor

Key Publications

  • Benedict Borer, Irene H Zhang, Amy E Baker, George A O’Toole, Andrew R Babbin, Porous marine snow differentially benefits chemotactic, motile, and nonmotile bacteriaPNAS Nexus, Volume 2, Issue 2, February 2023, pgac311, 10.1093/pnasnexus/pgac311

  • Babbin, A.R., Boles, E.L., Mühle, J. et al. On the natural spatio-temporal heterogeneity of South Pacific nitrous oxideNat Commun 11, 3672 (2020). 10.1038/s41467-020-17509-6

  • Ciccarese, D., Tantawi, O., Zhang, I.H. et al. Microscale dynamics promote segregated denitrification in diatom aggregates sinking slowly in bulk oxygenated seawater. Commun Earth Environ 4, 275 (2023). 10.1038/s43247-023-00935-x