Acknowledgment.

I would like to thank my advisor Gill Hanson for his support, encouragement, for proofreading of hundreds of thesis drafts, and helping me throughout my research project. I thank Rich Reeder for teaching me microscopy techniques and his incredible patience with me. I thank Bruce Brownawell for introducing me to the world of organic geochemistry. I would also like to thank Martin Schoonen and Scott McLennan for their helpful advices. I am extremely grateful to the isotope lab people including; Mona Becker, Troy Rasbury, Joel Hurowitz, Andy Winslow, and Peter Schumann. Others in Stony Brook who have provided help and support Karen Baird, Melissa Nugent, Alessandro Dondollini.

I am grateful to office staff members Barbara Siemson, Iris Roth, Ann Cox and Jim Broyles. I would like to also thank Lee Ferguson for teaching me lab organic geochemistry techniques; David Hirschberg for analyzing samples for TOC and Ron Paulsen for providing samples. I am extremely grateful to my friend Peter for correcting my English and practicing the talks with me. And the Special thanks go to my family: my parents, my sister, my son and my husband.

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