Professor Rebecca Dickhut

Rebecca Dickhut

Professor of Marine Science

Department: Physical Sciences
Status: Professor Dickhut passed away in 2011. We archive her VIMS home page in commemoration of her many accomplishments. Read her {{,obituary}}.

  • M.S., Ph.D., University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • B.S., St. Norbert College
Research Interests

My research interests focus on the biogeochemical processes governing the transport and fate of organic contaminants in the environment and their incorporation into food webs. Interdisciplinary research integrating the areas of marine biology, geology, and biogeochemistry is a major aspect of the contaminant transport and fate research program. Our objective is to provide a better mechanistic and quantitative understanding of the behavior of toxic substances in the environment to improve modeling and management strategies.

Selected Publications
  • Wozniak AS, Bauer JE, Dickhut RM. 2011. Fossil and contemporary aerosol particulate organic carbon in the eastern United States: Implications for deposition and inputs to watersheds. Global Biogeochem Cycles 25:GB2013.
  • Cincinelli A, Martellini T, Del Bubba M, Lepri L, Corsolini S, Borghesi N, King MD, Dickhut RM. 2009. Organochlorine pesticide air-water exchange and bioconcentration in krill in the Ross Sea RID A-8468-2011 RID B-1308-2009. Environmental Pollution 157:2153-2158.
  • Dickhut RM, Deshpande AD, Cincinelli A, Cochran MA, Corsolini S, Brill RW, Secor DH, Graves JE. 2009. Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus) Population Dynamics Delineated by Organochlorine Tracers RID A-8468-2011. Environ Sci Technol 43:8522-8527.
  • Canuel EA, Lerberg EJ, Dickhut RM, Kuehl SA, Bianchi TS, Wakeham SG. 2009. Changes in sediment and organic carbon accumulation in a highly-disturbed ecosystem: The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta (California, USA). Mar Pollut Bull 59:154-163.
  • Geisz HN, Dickhut RM, Cochran MA, Fraser WR, Ducklow HW. 2008. Melting glaciers: A probable source of DDT to the Antarctic marine ecosystem. Environ Sci Technol 42:3958-3962.
  • Countway RE, Canuel EA, Dickhut RM. 2007. Sources of particulate organic matter in surface waters of the York River, VA estuary. Org Geochem 38:365-379.
  • Kimbrough KL, Dickhut RM. 2006. Assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon input to urban wetlands in relation to adjacent land use. Mar Pollut Bull 52:1355-1363
  • Dickhut, R.M., A. Cincinelli., M. Cochran and H.W. Ducklow. 2005. Atmospheric Concentrations and Air-Water Flux of Organochlorine Pesticides along the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Environ. Sci. Technol., 39:465-470.
  • S.E. Walker, R.M. Dickhut, C.J. Chisholm-Brause, S. Slyva and C.M. Reddy. 2005. Molecular and Isotopic Identification of PAH Sources in a highly industrialized urban estuary. Org. Geochem., 36:619-632.
  • Chiuchiolo, A.L., R.M. Dickhut, M.A. Cochran and H.W. Ducklow. 2004. Persistent organic pollutants at the base of the Antarctic marine food web. Environ. Sci. Technol. 38:3551-3557.
  • Dickhut, R.M., T.V. Padma and A. Cincinelli. 2004. Fractionation of Stable Isotope Labeled Organic Pollutants As a Potential Tracer of Atmospheric Transport Processes. Environ. Sci. Technol. 38:3871-3876.
  • Walker, S.E., R.M. Dickhut, C.J. Chisholm-Brause. 2004. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in a highly industrialized urban estuary: Inventories and trends. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 23:2655-2664.
  • Cincinelli, A., S. Mandorlo, R.M. Dickhut, L. Lepri. Particulate organic compounds in the atmosphere surrounding an industrialized area of Prato (Italy). 2003. Atmos. Environ. 37:3125-3133.
  • Padma, T.V., R.M. Dickhut and H. Ducklow. 2003. Variations in alpha?-hexachlorocyclohexane Enantiomer Ratios in Relation to Microbial Activity in a Temperate Estuary. Environ. Toxicol. Chem., 22:1421-1427.
  • Countway, R.E., R.M. Dickhut and E.A. Canuel. 2003. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) Distributions and Associations with Organic Matter in Surface Waters of the York River, VA Estuary. Org. Geochem., 34:209-224.
  • Padma T.V. and R.M. Dickhut. 2002. Spatial and Temporal Variation in Hexachlorocyclohexane Isomers in a Temperate Estuary. Mar. Pollution Bulletin., 44:1345-1353.
  • Arzayus, K.M., R.M. Dickhut and E.A. Canuel. 2002. Effects of Physical Mixing on the Attenuation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Estuarine Sediments. Org. Geochem., 33:1759-1769.
  • Walker, S.E. and R.M. Dickhut. 2001. Sources of PAHs to Sediment of the Elizabeth River, VA. Soil & Sed. Contam. 10:611-632.
  • Arzayus, K.M., R. M. Dickhut and E. A. Canuel. 2001. Fate of Atmospherically Deposited Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Chesapeake Bay. Environ. Sci. Technol. 35:2178-2183.
  • R.M. Dickhut, E.A. Canuel, K.E. Gustafson, K. Liu, K.M.. Murray, S.E. Walker, G. Edgecombe, M.O. Gaylor, and E.H. MacDonald. 2000. Automotive Sources of Carcinogenic Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons to Chesapeake Bay. Environ. Sci. Technol., 34:4635-4640.
  • Heidi Geisz – MS 2010 – Persistent Organic Pollutants in Antarctic Seabirds
  • Andrew Wozniak – PhD 2009 – Atmospheric Deposition of Organic Carbon to Coastal Watersheds
  • Amy Chiuchiolo, M.S. - 2003. Current position - research technician McMurdo Dry Valleys LTER
  • Shelby Walker, Ph.D. - 2003. Current position - Project Manager, Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology (JSOST)
  • Kimani Kimbrough, Ph.D. - 2002. Current position: Project Manager, NOAA
  • Padma Venkatraman, Ph.D. - 2001. Current position: Coordinator, Grad. School Recruitment, Univ. of Rhode Island
  • Rebecca Countway, M.S. - 1999. Current position: Environmental Scientist, ARCADIS JSA
  • Siddhartha Mitra, Ph.D. - 1997. Current position: assistant professor at SUNY-Binghamton
  • Kewen Liu, Ph.D. - 1996
  • Caryn Huszai, M.S. - 1995
  • Kurt Gustafson, M.S. - 1993, Ph.D. - 1996. Current position: US EPA, Washington, D.C
Courses Taught
  • Environmental Organic Chemistry
  • Fundamentals of Marine Science – Chemical Oceanography
Faculty/Student Awards
  • Kurt Gustafson - Recipient of the 1995 Maury and Zeigler student achievement awards
  • Sid Mitra - Recipient of the best student paper award at the 1993 the 47th annual meeting of the Virginia Water Pollution Control Board, Norfolk, VA. Recipient of the Hudson River Fellowship 1995. Recipient of the 1996 Maury student achievement award.
  • Rebecca Countway - Recipient of the 1997 Hargis award for student achievement and research promise.
  • Shelby Walker - Recipient of a 2002 Knauss Fellowship
  • Heidi Geisz - EPA STAR Fellowship 2004-2006
Professional Memberships
  • Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
  • American Chemical Society
  • American Geophysical Union
Collaborative/Interdisciplinary Efforts
  • Transport and Fate of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in Coastal Antarctic Seas
  • Transport and Fate of Organic Pollutants in Estuarine Sediments
  • Distribution of Chiral Pesticides in Relation to Microbial Activity and Abundance in the York River Estuary