Travis B. Meador

Travis B. Meador

Organic Geochemist & Head of Stable Isotope Facility
ORCID: 0000-0001-8255-5883

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

  • 2020-present Assist. Prof/Lecturer University of South Bohemia, Faculty of Science, Dept. Ecosystem Biology (Budweis, Czechia)
  • 2018-present Principal Investigator & Head of Laboratory Biology Center Czech Academy of Sciences (Budweis, Czechia)
  • 2016-2017 Research Associate MARUM Center for Marine Environmental Research (Bremen, Germany)
  • 2010-2015 Postdoc MARUM Center for Marine Environmental Research (Bremen, Germany)
  • 2008-2010 Postdoc Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry (Falmouth, MA, USA)
  • 2008 Postdoc University of the Aegean (Mytilini, Greece) and Hellenic Center for Marine Research (Anavyssos, Greece)
  • 2008 Ph.D., Oceanography University of California San Diego - Scripps Institution of Oceanography (La Jolla, CA, USA)
  • 2001 B.S. Marine Science University of South Carolina, summa cum laude (Columbia, SC, USA)

Research Interests

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

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…

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


Active Projects:

Funded Projects 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 de Melo Rangel GAČR 20-22380S 2020-2022
Evaluating Groundwater Resources and Groundwater-Surface-Water Interactions in the Context of Adapting to Climate Change IAEA staff & Scientists from 20+ EU countries IAEA TC Project RER/7/013 2020-2023
Hydrogen and oxygen isotopes and cycling of humics in peat (PHOXYtopes) Travis Meador Petr Porcal (IHB, BC-CAS) GAČR 21-26382S 2021-2024


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


Photochemical (UV–vis/H2O2) degradation of carotenoids: Kinetics and molecular end products

Carbon in the land, air and water are interconnected. A significant amount of carbon stored in aquatic environments is thought to derive from...


Inaugural meeting of the Czech Society for Stable Isotopes

The inaugural ČSSI 2020 workshop aims (i) to develop communication between stable isotope researchers from Czechia and surrounding countries and...


Marine waste management: recycling efficiency by marine microbes

It was only relatively recently that tiny, single-celled thaumarchaea were discovered to exist and thrive in the pelagic ocean, where their...


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...


Explore beauty of soil and water ecosystems