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Prof. Ilana Berman-Frank

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Photo by Maxim Rubin
The Aquatic Microbial Ecology and Oceanography Laboratory- Prof. Ilana Berman- Frank 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). I believe that, as an oceanographer and ecologist, I have the obligation to study and communicate issues that have an impact on the environment and society in addition to investigating stimulating basic science questions. Since its establishment in 2002, The Aquatic Ecology and Biological Oceanography Laboratory focuses on environmentally relevant issues related to microbial populations that are important from local to global scales. Specifically, I focus on aquatic environments and especially on marine systems comprising over 70% of the world’s areas. Research in the lab is divided into two major themes: a) The globally important process of marine N2 fixation performed by bacteria and cyanobacteria adding an important source of nitrogen to nitrogen-limited surface oceans, and b) research related to local and regional impacts on the Mediterranean and Red Seas where the adjoining arid regions and increasing  scarcity of potable water has also expanded our research into the marine habitats impacted by human developments of seawater desalination and off-shore drilling for gas and oil.