Phytoplankton impact ocean food webs, nutrient cycles, and global carbon biogeochemistry, yet traditional bulk methods to study them are often inadequate to measure relevant rates and dynamics that influence ecosystem function. Current methods lack taxonomic resolution and/or use sampling schemes with limited spatial or temporal resolution and therefore, the mechanisms that regulate phytoplankton productivity and the fate of the carbon they produce are poorly understood. To address this, we have investigated how diatoms, a highly productive and dominant group of marine phytoplankton, sense and respond to shifts in nutrient availability at the level of gene expression. In-depth investigation of gene expression and metabolic flux in model species has facilitated the identification of biomarkers for nutrient status of diatoms in the field and promises to accelerate development of ecogenomic sensors capable of deployment in high-resolution spatial and temporal sampling.
This seminar will be fully remote: