Ph.D. Program in Oceanography and Global Change at the Canary Islands, Spain

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Ecology and physiology of marine phytoplankton and micro-heterotrophs

We study the link between plankton community structure and function combining techniques of light and epifluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry and metabolic rates, including microbial enzymatic activities. We aim to look at the relationship between actual and potential rates of microbial respiration, addressing the environmental and trophic factors that affect this relationship. We are also interested in addressing the changes of phytoplankton and microbial functional groups in terms of abundances and biomasses in marine ecosystems, with respect to inorganic and organic nutrient sources and physical processes spanning from submesoscale to the large scale. More recently we have started to develop, through flow cytometry analyses, biological proxies of marine pollution and toxicity.