Dr. Costa’s research focus on the biogeochemistry of nutrients (particularly nitrogen and phosphorus) in aquatic systems. He seeks to understand the processes (both natural and anthropogenic) that drive and influence the biogeochemical cycles of these nutrients, including: sources and transport of nutrients within watersheds, the effects of nutrients on aquatic ecosystems, and how these systems retain nutrients and control their transformations. This is done by conducting measurements in the field, running experiments in the laboratory, and developing and applying models. Dr. Costa has conducted nutrient research in Brazil, the United Kingdom, Canada, Panama, Qatar and the United States. Since Moving to Ohio, in 2006, Dr. Costa has supervised graduate and undergraduate research by 21 OSU students, 16 of which were from the Mansfield Campus.
“Since I was a teenager, I wanted to be a scientist because I always admired scientists and science. I was fascinated about the things we can do when we put our minds to it.” Dr. Ozeas Costa has been researching the biogeochemistry of nutrients in aquatic systems for over 20 years.
Dr. Costa’s interest in scientific research began in 1989 when he participated in his first undergraduate study of a coastal lagoon in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He assisted in a project to improve the water quality of the lagoon, which led to the construction of a canal that connected the lagoon to the sea, allowing water to better circulate. “What made me realize that research is important, and something that is interesting to do, is that I saw the application of research and the positive impact it had in people’s lives.”
Since Dr. Costa’s first research experiences in Brazil, he has conducted additional research in the United Kingdom, Canada, Panama, Qatar, and the United States. Dr. Costa has also supervised 21 undergraduate and graduate students during his six years at OSU, as well as successfully published his work in various professional journals, one of which had an undergraduate student as the main author (view).
Currently, Dr. Costa is researching the water quality nearby in the streams and lakes of the Mohican watershed. Dr. Costa conducts his research by taking measurements in the field, running experiments in the laboratory, and developing and applying models. This research is extremely important for understanding the community dynamics of organisms, such as algae and plankton, which live in these waters. In addition, keeping these streams and lakes healthy is also important because they are used by people for recreational purposes (fishing, swimming, canoeing) and as a source of water for cities and farms.
In the future, Dr. Costa would like to rekindle his research contacts in Brazil and revisit the places and the work he has done in the beginning of his academic career. In addition, he would like to do more work in National Parks; he has visited 18 of the 58 in the U.S.
Because Dr. Costa has participated in research from a very young age, he has concluded: “Any type of research has an applied side to it, even if it is not apparent in the beginning. But, they all lead to knowledge that can affect people’s lives.”
Dr. Costa enthusiastically invites students to assist in his research. Interested students can email or stop by his office in Ovalwood 395. Additional information can be found on his student research website.