I investigate interactions occuring in
plankton at the microscale. The ocean
teems with marine life, much of which is too small to be seen with the naked
eye. Planktonic organisms ranging in
size from micrometres to centimetres must navigate a complex fluid environment
to find food, avoid predators, and in the case of transient planktonic
organisms, locate suitable areas to settle out of the plankton.
Plankton encounter a vast array of environmental cues in the
water column, encompassing physical cues like turbulence, light, and sound
waves, as well as biological and chemical cues such as the exudates from
predator, prey, host species, as well as conspecifics. The intepretation of these cues and the
resultant behavioral responses by planktonic organisms can mediate survival and
success in the water column.
I completed my PhD in the MIT-Woods Hole Oceanographic
Insititution in 2016 with Lauren Mullineaux (Biology) and Karl Helrich
(Physical Oceanography). My PhD work
considered the effects of water column cues (turbulence, light and conspecific
chemical exudates), individually and interactively, on the swimming behavior of
larval invertebrates at different stages of development.
I am presently a postdoctoral researcher with Roman Stocker's lab at the Institute for Environmental Engineering at ETH Zürich. In my postdoc work, I am
investigating how phytoplankton modify their behavior and genetic regulation in
response to a broad range of "adverse" environmental conditions:
highly turbulent flow, micro- and hyper-gravity, and the sea surface