Dr. Roy Price is an aqueous geochemist who specializes in understanding water-rock
reactions in the context of environmental hydrogeochemistry and hydrothermal vents,
and the implications these reactions have for life, both in the present and past.
He has numerous publications in diverse disciplines, ranging from arsenic biogeochemical
cycling to bioenergetics to contaminants of emerging concern to astrobiology.
Dr. Price’s YouTube Channel
Dr. Price has been invited to present at the prestigious
Gordon Research Conference on the Origin of Life, in the session “Hydrothermal Vents: Differences Between Modern and Hadean Earth”.
The title of his presentation is “Extending the submarine alkaline vent model for
life’s emergence to the shallow sea.” The conference will be in person Janurary 23-28,
2022 in Galveston, Texas.
Strytan 2021 was a success! Roy Price, along with SBU students Holly Rucker (M.S.)
and Arlaine Sanchez (Ph.D.), and with Dr. Laurie Barge from Jet Propulsion Laboratory
and Dr. Donato Giovannelli from the University of Naples, recently traveled to sample
the Strytan Hydrothermal System in Eyjafjord, northern Iceland. This is part of our
ongoing efforts to better understand Habitability of early Martian alkaline hydrothermal
systems in the Eridania Basin. Thank you to the NASA Habitable Worlds program for
funding this research!!
Congratulations to Holly Rucker for completing her MS degree, “Habitability of Eridania
Lake: The Bioenergetics of an Ancient Mars Lacustrine Hydrothermal Vent compared to
an Icelandic Analogue Fjord Site”. This research has impactful implications for habitability
of early Martian alkaline hydrothermal vents and illustrates the limits of using Earth-based
hydrothermal systems as analogs.
New Publication! A Khimasia, CE Renshaw, RE Price, T Pichler. 2021.
Hydrothermal flux and porewater geochemistry in Paleochori Bay, Milos, Greece. Chemical Geology.
New Publication! H Roberts, R Price, CC Brombach, T Pichler. 2021.
Mercury in the hydrothermal fluids and gases in Paleochori Bay, Milos, Greece. Marine Chemistry, 103984
SBU SoMAS MS student Holly Rucker presented her research “
Habitability of Eridania Lake: An Ancient Mars Lacustrine Hydrothermal Vent, Compared
to an Icelandic Analogue Fjord Site
” to the 2021 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference! Way to Go Holly!!
New Publication! Gobler et al. 2021.
Removing 80%–90% of nitrogen and organic contaminants with three distinct passive,
lignocellulose-based on-site septic systems receiving municipal and residential wastewater.
Ecological Engineering 161, 106157
The Price Lab had four publications and one conference presentation in 2020! Publications
include Jones et al in Astrobiology (
3D Printed Minerals as Astrobiology Analogs of Hydrothermal Vent Chimneys), Lu et al. in PloS One (
Bioenergetic characterization of a shallow-sea hydrothermal vent system: Milos Island,
), Wehrmann et al. in JSWBE (
Biogeochemical Sequestration of Phosphorus in a Two-Layer Lignocellulose-Based Soil
), and finally Fryer et al. in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A (
Mariana serpentinite mud volcanism exhumes subducted seamount materials: implications
for the origin of life
). Yang Gao and Greg Henkes (SBU Geosciences) worked with the Price lab to produce
the first ever “
Clumped isotope geochemistry of carbonates formed in association with shallow water
continental methane seeps at Prony Bay, New Caledonia and Elba, Italy
“. Yang presented this work at the AGU Fall Meeting.
SETI Institute Press Release: NASA PSTAR InVADER Project to send a Robotic Laser to
Explore Deep Sea Vents
OUTREACH: Dr. Price presents ‘Measuring the Geochemistry of Hydrothermal Vents’ for
the InVADER Mission using “Learning Glass,” a new technology that allows presenters
to write notes while maintaining face-to-face contact with students, using a transparent
whiteboard and technology that reverses the writing so the students can also read
what is written. The video can be viewed on the
Price lab just funded from the NASA Habitable Worlds program! The title of the project
Habitability of saponite-rich hydrothermal systems of early Mars.” Funding is now available for a graduate student to join the lab on this project.
Please contact Dr. Price for more information.
Roy Price’s photograph of alkaline shallow-sea hydrothermal vents featured on the
of this month’s issue of The Royal Society’s “Interface Focus” (vol 9, no 6) journal
in a special theme issue ‘
The origin of life: the submarine alkaline vent theory at 30’ organised by Julyan Cartwright and Michael Russell. The cover photo caption reads
“Photograph of submarine chimneys comprising carbonates and brucite (Mg[OH]2) precipitating
from alkaline hydrothermal fluids, Prony Bay, off New Caledonia, kindly contributed
(cf. Price et al. Geology 2017:45(12),1135). Comparable chimneys in the Hadean would
have comprised the iron oxyhydoxide, fougerite (~Fe2[OH]5) (Russell, Geology (2017)
45 (12): 1143-1144.)”
Roy Price participates in expedition to investigate the influence of ocean acidification
on coral reefs in Papua New Guinea using CO2-rich shallow-sea vents as analogs.
Project video available on YouTube.
Price lab publishes on
arsenic nano-particle characterization and fluxes from shallow-sea hydrothermal vents,
with implications for coastal marine ecosystems and global hydrothermal fluxes of
Price lab funded through part of NASA PSTAR: “InVADER: In-situ Vent Analysis Divebot
for Exobiology Research”, for “Furthering the understanding and exploration readiness
of terrestrial and planetary underwater vent systems”. See project description here.
This project focuses on analysis of hydrothermal vent fluid and precipitate samples
collected from the Axial Seamount on the Juan de Fuca Ridge, in support of the InVADER
The Price lab is looking for undergraduate student volunteers who are interested in
assisting with cultivation of arsenotrophs – microbes who oxidize or reduce arsenic
for energy and growth. Samples are in hand and ready for inoculation. Please contact
Dr. Price if interested.
My research focuses on element cycling in the hydrological cycle, including:
- Geochemical evolution of hydrothermal vent fluids, particularly shallow-sea vents.
- Cycling of toxic elements in coastal marine environments, either naturally occurring
- Environmental geochemistry, emphasizing source, fate, flux, transport
- Mobilization mechanisms and fate of arsenic in groundwater aquifers.
- Abiotic vs. biotic (microbial) processes across redox gradients.
Shallow-sea analogs for early-Earth conditions and the origin of life.