Joseph Montoya Named Director of Ocean Science and Engineering

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The College of Sciences and College of Engineering are pleased to announce the appointment of Joseph Montoya, professor in the School of Biological Sciences, to the position of director of the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Ocean Science and Engineering (OSE) at Georgia Tech. The appointment follows a search process and approval by Georgia Tech leadership.

Montoya has previously served as associate chair for Undergraduate Affairs in the School of Biology (Biological Sciences), and has additional leadership experience with the ECOGIG (Ecosystem Impacts of Oil and Gas Inputs to the Gulf) Consortium. He is also a founding member of the Georgia Tech Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council, as well as a member of the College of Sciences Faculty Diversity Council.

“The OSE program benefits from a close collaboration between the Schools of Biological Sciences, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and Civil and Environmental Engineering,” said David Collard, senior associate dean in the College of Sciences and professor in the School of Chemistry & Biochemistry. “The College of Sciences and College of Engineering continue to support the program and Professor Montoya is well-prepared to advance the program.”

“At the same time, I would also like to express immense gratitude to Professor Emanuele Di Lorenzo for his vision, hard work and leadership in creating the OSE program and serving as its founding director,” Collard added. “He leaves the program in a healthy position, and with great opportunities to expand the instructional and research missions of Georgia Tech in a critical field of study.”

Meet Joseph Montoya

Joseph Montoya is a biological oceanographer with research interests at the interface of biology and geochemistry. His lab specializes in studies of the marine nitrogen cycle, using a combination of direct rate measurements and stable isotope natural abundance methods to explore the role of biological dinitrogen (N2) fixation in structuring the flow of nitrogen and energy through planktonic ecosystems. The metabolic capability to use atmospheric nitrogen to support biological production plays a key role in supporting diverse ecosystems in many offshore and coastal waters.

The Montoya Lab has also been deeply involved in studies of the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on offshore ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico. His group’s research program is highly interdisciplinary, incorporating work in plankton biology, marine chemistry, and isotope biogeochemistry both at sea and in the lab.

Montoya received an A.B. in Biology at the University of California and a Ph.D. in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology from Harvard University. He served on the faculty of the Departments of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard before joining the Georgia Tech faculty in 1998.

Learn more about Montoya’s work:


About Georgia Tech

The Georgia Institute of Technology, or Georgia Tech, is a top 10 public research university developing leaders who advance technology and improve the human condition. The Institute offers business, computing, design, engineering, liberal arts, and sciences degrees. Its nearly 44,000 students representing 50 states and 149 countries, study at the main campus in Atlanta, at campuses in France and China, and through distance and online learning. As a leading technological university, Georgia Tech is an engine of economic development for Georgia, the Southeast, and the nation, conducting more than $1 billion in research annually for government, industry, and society.


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  • Created By:jhunt7
  • Created:07/14/2022
  • Modified By:jhunt7
  • Modified:07/14/2022