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​​Phytoplankton contribute to ocean's ability to absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide, and underpin ecologically and economically important marine food webs. Human-induced climate change is altering ocean temperature, nutrient composition, and other environmental variables. We currently have a limited understanding of how these changes will affect phytoplankton growth and physiology. By studying phytoplankton cells, we begin to uncover how a changing climate affects their growth, and subsequently, their ability to influence and interact with critical Earth processes such as carbon cycling and food web dynamics. My Hugh Morris Experiential Learning Program took me to eight different institutions and across several continents to explore cutting-edge techniques and methods of studying phytoplankton cell biology and ecology.

Leg 1 - MetalGate Expedition - Iceland/Greenland

I joined a research vessel from the Royal Netherlands Institute of Sea Research and circumnavigated Iceland to study phytoplankton dynamics in the Greenland-Iceland-Norwegian Sea region. Read more here.


Leg 2 - J. Craig Venter Institute & Scripps Institution of Oceanography - USA

I visited Dr. Andy Allen's lab at JCVI / SIO to learn about gene editing tools in diatoms.  Read more here.

Leg 3 - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution - USA

I joined the Saito Lab at WHOI to learn about synthesizing peptide standards for mass spectrometry using an E. coli overexpression system. Read more here.

Leg 4 - The Marine Biological Association - Plymouth, UK

I had the most incredible experience visiting Dr. Katherine Helliwell at the MBA in Plymouth to learn about phytoplankton signaling! Blog post to come soon. 


Leg 5 - The University of Cambridge - Cambridge, UK

I am currently visiting Dr. Ross Waller in the Department of Biochemistry at Cambridge to learn about spatial proteomics methods!  More to come soon. 

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