Algal Ecology & Evolution – from genes to physiological responses to seasonal and anthropogenic change

Elucidating the underpinnings of how algae respond to changing ocean conditions is essential to understanding food webs and the global carbon cycle. It also helps identify places where niche differentiation and competition might matter most. Field studies are essential for observing system change. Studies of physiology – using cultured algae that go down to the biochemical pathways and functions of genes— are important for developing a mechanistic understanding of responses. A first step is having reference information on the genes of environmentally-relevant algae, and, more broadly, of unicellular eukaryotes as a whole. We take several approaches to this, including whole genome sequencing (e.g. Worden et al. Science 2009) and transcriptome assemblies (e.g. Keeling et al. PLoS Biology 2014) for cultured taxa and targeted metagenomic assemblies (e.g., Cuvelier et al. PNAS 2010, Needham et al. PNAS 2019) for wild species.

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