Life and death in the sea: new insights into how marine phytoplankton interact with nutrients, light and prey
发布日期: 2019/12/27


时间:2019年12 月30日 13:30-14:30



Phytoplankton (photosynthetic eukaryotes), prokaryotes and viruses that constitute the marine microbial food web control the base of biogeochemical processes in the sea and have broad ecological impacts from primary production to marine fisheries. In vast oligotrophic open oceans, phytoplankton compete for scant nutrient (both macro- and micro-nutrients) and light (both quantity and quality/spectrum) resources that are vital for all life activities and can exert strong selective force for shaping phytoplankton community structure. As a consequence, diverse life strategies from molecular (e.g. functional genes) to species level (e.g. trophic mode) are developed by phytoplankton to adapt to changing environments, among which mixotrophy (the combination of autotrophic and heterotrophic nutrition) has been found as a widespread nutritional strategy. Relying on the generalized trophic strategy of phagocytosis besides the specialized strategy of obligate autotrophy, mixotrophic phytoplankton become stronger competitors under favored conditions (e.g. high light, low nutrient, and relatively ample prey resource). However, this could also put phytoplankton at stake of engulfing large-sized viruses (the so-called 'giant virus') which is potentially and completely challenging our traditional understanding on host-virus interaction. The overarching goal of this talk is to bridge multi-faceted interactions between phytoplankton, changing environments and other species at different trophic level in the food web. I will present results from several of my previous projects using integrative approaches across laboratory, field and computation, to provide new insights on how phytoplankton interact, adapt and evolve in a highly dynamic ocean environment.


Dr. Qian (Lydia) Li earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Environmental Science (the previous 'State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science') from Xiamen University (China) and spent one year as a postdoc at the University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands) before joining the Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education at University of Hawaii (USA). She was broadly trained in microbial oceanography, has experience with traditional microbiological techniques, molecular biology and biochemistry, has conducted various research related to the bottom up and top down controls on marine phytoplankton through integrative laboratory and field approaches. Her current work focuses on the trophic interactions among protist, their prokaryotic prey and viruses infecting them, with emphases on physiology, diversity and ecological implications. Outside of science, she enjoys going to fitness and dance classes, hiking, cooking, traveling and organizing weekend activities.

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