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Sarah Youngs

Research Associate I
Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering

Contact Information:
Building: Blake 203

Lab Website:

Mailing Address:
266 Woods Hole Road, MS #7
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods Hole, MA 02543

Research Interests

My overall research interest is to better understand how human activity is impacting ocean chemistry. Specifically, I operate and experiment with novel sensors to detect and quantify oceanic microplastics and dissolved gasses. I adapt small ROVs and surface vehicles as platforms to test our sensors in the field.


Additionally, I broadly study plastic debris in the form of both micro and macroplastics, seeking to evaluate plastic type, weathering, breakdown, and metal accumulation in various locations around the world.  I also hold a strong passion for STEM education and outreach and I am excited about inspiring the next generation of scientists.

Selected Publications

  • Preston, V., Flaspohler, G., Kapit, J., Pardis, W., Youngs, S., Martocello, D.E., Roy, N., Girguis, P.R., Wankel, S.D., Michel, A.P. Discovering Hydrothermalism from Afar: In Situ Methane Instrumentation and Change-Point Detection for Decision-Making. Frontiers in Earth Science 2022, 10.
  • James, B. D., de Vos, A., Aluwihare, L., Youngs, S., Ward, C. P., Nelson, R. K., Michel, A. P., Hahn, M., Reddy, C. M. Divergent Forms of Pyroplastic: Lessons Learned from the M/V X-Press Pearl Ship Fire. ACS Environmental Au 2022.
  • de Vos, A.; Aluwihare, L.; Youngs, S.; DiBenedetto, M. H.; Ward, C. P.; Michel, A. P.; Colson, B. C.; Mazzotta, M. G.; Walsh, A. N.; Nelson, R. K.; Reddy, C. M.; James, B. D. The M/V X-Press Pearl Nurdle Spill: Contamination of Burnt Plastic and Unburnt Nurdles along Sri Lanka’s Beaches. ACS Environmental Au 2021
  • Maldonado, S., Reczek, J., Youngs, S., Macinnes, M., Sinniah, K., Cousineau, B. Discovery of Unusually Stable Reduced Viologen via Synergistic Folding and Encapsulation. J. Electrochem. Soc. 2019, 166(15).