My role in Villefranche
During this mesocosm experiment, I will be collecting samples for three different purposes: for flow cytometric analysis (in order to enumerate viruses, bacteria and pico-eukaryotes, with the use of flow cytometry), for viral production analysis (in order to estimate the relative contribution of lysogenic vs. lytic viruses) and for DNA analysis of free-living and particle-associated prokaryotes (in order to describe the prokaryotic community composition and connect possible taxonomic shifts throughout the experimental period with the impacts of ocean acidification).
My thoughts on the trip
Having more responsibilities and tasks, within the field that I’m more interested in, I’m truly excited to participate in another ocean acidification mesocosm experiment. But -I must admit it- water temperature predictions are kind of scary! It was good to know that back in Corsica temperature didn’t fall below 230C… I’m sure we will all have good stories to tell afterwards!
More about my research
During the past two years, I’m working at the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research in Crete on the structure of the microbial food web, as a laboratory technician. I did my undergraduate studies in Biology in the University of Crete and during my thesis (in collaboration with the HCMR) I focused on the microbial food web of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea specifically. Seasonal and spatial distribution of several members of the prokaryotic community was my project. After my MSc studies in the National Oceanography Centre (Southampton, UK), I can say that viruses and prokaryotes completely fascinate me and that I want to dedicate my PhD studies in the exploration of the microbial loop. There are several tools used in our lab at the moment, such as flow cytometry, microscopy and image analysis systems for viral, bacterial and pico-eukaryotic research. Ciliates’ mixotrophic behaviour, viral production and archaeal contribution to the total prokaryotic community are some of the things that my research also involves.