Ajit Subramaniam is a Lamont Research Professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, located in Palisades, New York. He has worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Services Center in Charleston, SC, the University of Maryland in College Park, MD, and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles prior to moving to Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University in New York in 2004. He has served as the Program Director for the Marine Microbiology Initiative at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and a program manager in the Biological Oceanography Program at the U.S. National Science Foundation. Ajit earned his Ph.D. in Coastal Oceanography and M.S. in Marine Environmental Science from SUNY, Stony Brook. He has a Bachelors degree in Physics from The American College in India.
Subramaniam is a biological oceanographer who uses remote sensing, bio-optics, Geographical Information Systems, to better understand how the marine ecosystem works and can be managed. Specifically, he works on understanding the diversity and productivity of phytoplankton: why does a particular phytoplankton species bloom where it does, the factors that lead to its demise, the consequences of such blooms, and how these might change in the future as a consequence of anthropogenic activity and climate change. He has worked with remote sensing data for more than 20 years and has developed algorithms for detection of cyanobacterial blooms. Subramaniam has taught at the Austral Summer Institute, Universidad de Concepción in 2004, 07, and 10 and was awarded a Fulbright Specialist Award in 2010 for this. He was awarded a Mercator Fellowship by the University of Rostock and the Baltic Sea Research Institute, Germany in 2017. He has extensive sea-going experience and been chief scientist on major oceanographic cruises.