Prof. Ilana Berman-FrankScroll Down Photo by Maxim Rubin
THE AQUATIC MICROBIAL ECOLOGY AND OCEANOGRAPHY LABORATORY
The microbial (bacterioplankton and phytoplankton) members of aquatic environments contribute ~ 50% to global primary production, are essential to aquatic food-webs, nutrient recycling, and all major biogeochemical cycles (e.g. carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus).In my laboratory we use both field (in-situ) and laboratory approaches to explore how these organisms respond to environmentally relevant changes and how they influence bio-geochemical cycling of carbon and nitrogen in the face of climate changes including global warming, eutrophication (nutrient enrichment), and ocean acidification due to increased dissolution of atmospheric CO2 in the oceans. Our research extends from exploring the genetic and molecular mechanisms, to physiological adaptations, and to the impacts of these organisms on the ecology of their environment. We then integrate data from both laboratory studies and the natural aquatic environments to understand and predict the role of these organisms in the oceans. The increasing scarcity of potable water combined with the reality of an arid region has also expanded our research into the growing areas and habitats impacted by human developments of seawater desalination and off-shore drilling for gas and oil.
Some of the questions we investigate are: