Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences Calendar
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Speaker: Dr. Beth Stauffer, Assistant Professor, UL Lafayette, (hosted by A. Schnetzer)
Seminar Title: Beyond Chlorophyll: The Variety of Roles and Controls Shaping Phytoplankton Communities
Abstract: As the base of aquatic food webs, phytoplankton are instrumental in the cycling of carbon, nutrients, and energy. These organisms come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and from many taxonomic groups; yet we often still rely on bulk measures of biomass (i.e. chlorophyll concentrations) to study their community dynamics. Based on work in coastal and estuarine ecosystems, and using methods ranging from stable isotope analyses to flow cytometry, we are deconstructing these communities to better understand the controls on their growth and the roles they play in larger ecosystems differ among phytoplankton groups, and what those differences mean for ecosystem functions.