Xingchen Tony Wang
In 2010, I received my B.S. in Geochemistry from Nanjing University, China. Following, I came to Princeton University to pursue a Ph.D. in Geosciences.
My current research is focused on using nitrogen isotopes of organic matter within biogenic minerals as a proxy for the past marine nitrogen cycle. Any biogenic minerals (coral, foraminifera shell, teeth, etc.) trapped a tiny amount of organic matter during the mineralization process, because it is much easier for the organisms to do the mineralization job with organic matrix serving as the crystal nucleus. Thanks to the "denitrifier method" developed in the Sigman Lab (requires 100 times less N than the traditional "combustion method"), we are able to measure the nitrogen isotopes of the very little amount of intracrystallic organic N. This technique works for any kind of biogenic minerals and thus is a very powerful tool that provides a unique window into the past. My main application of this technique is to use fossil corals (both shallow-water, symbiotic coral and deep-sea, non-symbiotic coral to understand the Glacial-Interglacial marine nitrogen cycle change and its feedbacks to the carbon cycle and climate system. I also uses nitrogen isotopes to study the nitrogen cycle on Bermuda coral reefs.