Seminar: Drs. Scott Gifford, Adrian Marchetti and Harvey Seim, UNC-CH Dept. of Marine Sciences
February 22 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Presenter Affiliation: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of Marine Sciences
Title: Darwin and the Microbes: Investigating the linkages between ocean physics, carbon cycling and the Galapagos microbiome
Abstract: Since the days of Charles Darwin’s voyages on the HMS Beagle, scientists have long been intrigued by the richness and uniqueness of the Galapagos Islands ecosystem. Although much has been learned from research focusing on the charismatic megafauna that inhabit the islands, surprisingly little is known about the Galapagos marine microbiome. In 2014, members of the UNC Department of Marine Sciences began collaborations with scientists at the University of San Francisco Quito and the Galapagos National Park through conducting a series of research cruises on board GNP vessels. The cruises were surveys across most of the archipelago where physical, chemical and biological ocean properties were measured across a wide range of trophic levels that coincided with the recent 2015/2016 El Niño event. A particular focus was on understanding how specific physical ocean processes influence primary productivity and the resulting microbial (i.e., phytoplankton and bacteria) communities in the marine waters of the archipelago. During this talk, findings from the past cruises will be presented along with a discussion on these hypotheses that lay the framework for future research directions.