QBioS Seminar Series - Daniel Muratore

Modeling Environment-Ecosystem Feedbacks In Marine Microbial Ecology

The ocean covers most of Earth’s surface and plays a crucial role in global biogeochemical cycles. Phytoplankton growing in the open ocean surface account for approximately half of all annual carbon fixation. Therefore, we need a robust accounting of the drivers of phytoplankton growth and mortality, particularly their responses to changing environmental regimes, in order to model the Earth’s carbon cycle. The new flood of insights molecular technologies have provided into marine microbial adaptations to the hostile and nutrient-bereft open ocean surface calls for a fresh look at the role of dynamical ecosystem models in microbial oceanography. Here we will cover a few vignettes exploring (1) the response of the entire microbial ecosystem to the day/night cycle, linking physiological changes to bulk ecosystem properties, (2) the coevolutionary dynamics between a phytoplankton host and its virus under nutrient limiting conditions, adding theory to the proposed ‘Ferrojan Horse Hypothesis’, and (3) preliminary progress on fledgling work seeking to understand the role of viral infection in organic particle formation and export. 

The seminar will be hosted at this bluejeans link.