Phytoplankton are responsible for half of the photosynthesis on Earth and are key players in the global carbon cycle. These microscopic cells are found in a wide range of ecosystems, from ice-covered seas to oceanic deserts. Their ability to acclimate to such a wide range of environmental conditions is essential for sustaining marine ecosystems across the globe. Our research team investigates the diversity and physiology of phytoplankton over a range of marine systems, from the poles to the tropics. We use a variety of tools to do this: from molecular markers to earth-orbiting satellites. The aim of this work is to identify the inherent physiological and optical traits of phytoplankton that allow them to occupy such a diverse range of ecological niches. Our research also focuses on developing a better understanding of how the ocean’s microflora responds to changes in physical forcing so that we can predict future changes in their productivity and biogeography.
Qualifications and Experience
Phytoplankton Ecophysiology, Biological Oceanography, Primary Production, Marine Biogeochemistry, Remote Sensing, Marine Biogeography
Department of Earth Sciences
University of Oxford
South Parks Road, Oxford