Postgraduate Seminar Speakers 28th July 2016
1pm - Zoology Museum (Wallace 129)
S P E A K E R 1
Neither phytoplankton nor zooplankton: welcome to the mixotrophic world of marine plankton
Suzana G. Leles
Mixotrophy among marine protists (i.e., the combination of autotrophy and heterotrophy in a single cell) is not a new discovery but it was poorly investigated until 1980s. However, in reality, most protist plankton are neither strict non-phagotroph nor strict non-phototroph, but mixotrophs. This talk will focus on acquired phototrophy and will discuss the spatial and temporal distribution of these mixotrophs, highlighting the implications of not considering such complex nutrition within marine ecosystem models.
S P E A K E R 2
Metabolite profiling of a robust cyanobacteria for industrial biotechnology
Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) are photosynthetic prokaryotes; they produce an array of secondary metabolites which can be exploited as a sustainable source of useful compounds in industry. These metabolites can be monitored during growth and under different stress conditions using metabolomics. This utilises a variety of high resolution analytical techniques such as GC-MS, LC-MS, MALDI, HPLC and NMR to visualise these changes and to aid in the characterisation of the metabolome using online databases.
S P E A K E R 3
Temporary defences induced by Daphnia magna (Cladocera) in two green algae: Scenedesmus sp. and Chlorella sp.
The ability to defend against grazers is a main driving force in phytoplankton evolutionary histories. This leads to trade-offs with other life-history traits, modifying eco-evolutionary dynamics. One well-known example is the chlorophyte Scenedesmus sp., which forms colonies when being grazed by the predator Daphnia. This morphological change allows Scenedesmus to increase its effective size to beyond the handling capacity of the grazers and thereby reduces its grazing mortality. The project involve the use of microcosms and modelling approaches to study inducible defence of green algae against grazers at the population and community levels, and metabolomics to characterise the chemical nature of the interactions and physiological changes in the organisms.