Travis B. Meador

Travis B. Meador

Organic Geochemist & Head of Stable Isotope Laboratories

Soil & Water Research Infrastructure

  • Biology Centre CAS
  • Na Sádkách 7, 370 05 České Budějovice
  • Czech Republic

Travis has expertise in state-of-the-art techniques in both analytical chemistry and molecular biology to characterize the bulk chemical, functional group, and isotopic composition of physiologically and environmentally relevant molecules (i.e., biomarkers) found in natural organic matter and cultured organisms stemming from all three domains of life (i.e., Eukarya, Bacteria, and Archaea). His research has focused on biogeochemical cycles in the surface and deep oceans, as well as in estuaries, inland waters, and sediments.

Education and Academic Positions

  • 2001 B.S. Marine Science University of South Carolina, summa cum laude (Columbia, SC, USA)
  • 2008 Ph.D., Oceanography University of California San Diego - Scripps Institution of Oceanography (La Jolla, CA, USA)
  • 2008 Postdoc University of the Aegean (Mytilini, Greece) and Hellenic Center for Marine Research (Anavyssos, Greece)
  • 2008-2010 Postdoc Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry (Falmouth, MA, USA)
  • 2010-2015 Postdoc MARUM Center for Marine Environmental Research (Bremen, Germany)
  • 2016-2017 Research Associate MARUM Center for Marine Environmental Research (Bremen, Germany)
  • 2018-present Principal Investigator & Head of Laboratory Biology Center Czech Academy of Sciences (Budweis, Czechia)

Research Interests

  • Organic Geochemistry
  • Biogeochemical Cycles
  • Stable Isotopes
  • Microbial Food Webs

Teaching Interests

  • Stable Isotope Course: An introduction to uses in ecology and plant physiology University of South Bohemia & TÜM collaborative intense course
  • KBE/117 Biogeochemistry University of South Bohemia


  • Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (continuous flow) with interfaces to EA, GC, LC, & Gas Bench

Scientific Activities

BIOMARKer INventions and INnovations


What it is that I do here: an el­ev­ator con­ver­sa­tion:

Firstly, can you appreciate the importance of plant life for the planet? …Over centuries we have learned the relative importance and cultivation practices of many plant species: for crops, medicine, decoration, architecture, etc. Perhaps most importantly, plants on land and in the ocean are a natural sustenance that take carbon from the atmosphere, turn it into living biomass, and produce the oxygen that we breathe.

EQUALLY IMPORTANT as carbon assimilation by photosynthesis, is the removal of organic carbon via degradation of living biomass. Humans have also learned to benefit from this natural process; examples include composting, treating wastewater, and even brewing!

WE HAVE ONLY BEGUN to explore the many varieties of carbon degradation mechanisms on Earth. I am currently researching these and other capabilities of micro-organisms in marine sediments…


Active Projects:

Project Principal Investigator Collaborators Funding Source Term
Microbial antioxidants as biomarkers of recalcitrant organic matter Sofia Semitsoglou-Tsiapou Travis Meador, Lihini Aluwihare, David Kahoun BC Grant Program (CAS) 2019-2020
Fungal Stable Isotope Fractionation (FUNSIF) Travis Meador Wesley Rangel GACR Standard Grant 2020-2022


Ongoing research themes:

Dissolved organic matter (DOM) is a black box of or­ganic mo­lecules in both the lo­gist­ical sense, that we vaguely un­der­stand how it cycles but do not know the un­der­ly­ing mech­an­isms that con­trol this cyc­ling, and in the aero­naut­ical sense, that DOM re­cords the mo­lecu­lar “con­ver­sa­tions” of events that have tran­spired. In­deed, DOM is of­ten de­pic­ted as a cent­ral com­pon­ent in mar­ine food webs, hav­ing im­port­ant ties to all do­mains of life and the global C cycle; however, the pro­cesses that con­trol its dis­tri­bu­tions and fluxes re­main poorly defined and fur­ther in­vest­ig­a­tion of its com­pos­i­tion and re­act­iv­ity is ne­ces­sary to re­solve en­vir­on­mental phe­nom­ena and an­thro­po­genic for­cings.

Biogeo­chem­ical Net­works: The gen­er­a­tion of large OTUs, geo­chem­istry, lipidomic data­sets has al­lowed for sci­ent­ists to ex­plore the re­la­tion­ship and po­ten­tial drivers of mi­cro­bial life be­low the sea­floor. Us­ing multi-vari­ate ana­lysis tech­niques, I am co­ordin­at­ing the res­ults and ef­forts of a team of sci­ent­ists to identify dia­gnostic trends in the dis­tri­bu­tion of mi­crobes and their cell mem­brane bio­mark­ers.

Travis B. MeadorGroup

Stanislav Jabinski

Research assistant and Marine Geoscientist

Ljubov Poláková

Research assistant

Sofia Semitsoglou Tsiapou

Environmental Chemist


Find our projects, facilities, lectures, publications, presentations, patents, grants, events and news


Structural elucidation and environmental distributions of butanetriol and pentanetriol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (BDGTs and PDGTs)

Short summary: This study deals with two membrane lipids called BDGTs and PDGTs. Membrane lipids are molecules forming the cell envelope of all...


Seasonal variations of biochemical and optical properties, physical dynamics and N stable isotopic composition in three northeastern Mediterranean basins (Aegean, Cretan and Ionian Seas)

Multidisciplinary surveys were conducted in October 2014, May 2015 and December 2015 in three major deep basins of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea...


New laboratories for the research of soil and water interactions

On Friday 1st June 2018, new laboratories for the research of soil and water interactions were set up in the building of the Biology Centre CAS at...


Diversity Day 2018 Photogallery

Ohlédnutí za netradičním biologickým happeningem v trávě na zahradě Biologického centra AV ČR, na Sádkách: Objektivem Tomáše...