Monday, January 22, 2018 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Allan Hancock Foundation Bldg (AHF) , 153/Torrey Webb Room 3616 Trousdale Pkwy
Dr. Cameron Thrash (Louisiana State University)
Tales from a coastal bacterioplankton safari
Each milliliter of seawater contains millions of microbial cells which are responsible for the bulk of biogeochemical cycling in the oceans. Coastal regions have even higher concentrations of these bacterioplankton compared to the open ocean, and contribute disproportionately to important transformations of carbon and other elements. Determining the functions of specific microbial taxa, and the feedbacks between these organisms and environmental factors like salinity and temperature, is challenging due to their size and the complex communities they inhabit. This talk will describe research in our lab to define microbial roles in the coastal northern Gulf of Mexico, including the seasonally oxygen-depleted waters of the “Dead Zone.” I will discuss how we have reconstructed metabolism for numerous uncultivated taxa in hypoxic waters, and how high-throughput cultivation success has lead to novel information on the ecology and evolution of some of the most abundant coastal bacterioplankton. Finally, I will outline future efforts that leverage our findings, and new cultivars, to provide a deeper understanding of microbial functions and interactions in productive, and heavily impacted, coastal environments.