Mar Benavides

Chargée de Recherche IRD, Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography.

My research is devoted to understanding the interactions between marine microbes and their physical, chemical and biological environment through a multi-spatiotemporal scale lens. My underlying philosophy is that processes that take place at small scales (molecule or cell level) can have impact at larger -regional or even global- scales. In the same manner, larger scale processes such as ocean circulation can alter the interactions between microbes and their environment affecting their distribution and activity. From the nanoscale to the global scale, unveiling the interactions between the marine environment and its microbes requires an interdisciplinary approach. I combine nanotechnology, molecular biology, biogeochemistry and modeling to bridge the spatiotemporal scales of microbial processes in the ocean. 



Elena Cerdán 

Aix-Marseille Université

Project: Ecogenomics of particle-attached non-cyanobacterial diazotrophs 

Cora Hörstmann

Aix-Marseille Université

Project: Fine scale dynamics of diazotrophs in the ocean 

Christian Furbo Reeder

Aix-Marseille Université

Project: Impact of particle microbial colonization on nitrogen cycling in the ocean

PhD students

Arthur Coët

Aix-Marseille Université, co-supervised by Pierre Ronceray (CINaM)

Thesis: Dynamics and architecture of diazotroph particle colonization 

Subhadeep Chowdhury

Aix-Marseille Université, co-supervised by Sophie Bonnet (MIO)

Thesis: Dinitrogen Fixation in the Indian Ocean: an interbasin and seasonal comparison

My research focuses on the Dinitrogen Fixation in the Indian Ocean in order to decipher the distribution and diversity of diazotrophs across basins and seasons. Also, I am trying to figure out how biogeochemical and environmental factors affect diazotrophs diversity and their N2 fixation activity in this mysterious ocean basin. In addition, I am interested to trace the alternative nitrogenases in Ocean and their potential to fixing N2. 

Alba Filella

Aix-Marseille Université, co-supervised by France Van Wambeke (MIO)

Thesis: Diazotroph interactions with organic matter under climate change 

I am investigating marine diazotrophs responses to future ocean conditions. Particularly I am interested in resolving which role diazotrophs play in organic matter cycling, potentially acting as consumers, transformers but also considering themselves as an organic matter source to higher trophic levels. Thus, the overall aim is to understand and anticipate diazotrophs' osmotrophic capability and fate across the food web in a changing environments.


Cécile Carpaneto

AMU Ingénieur d'Études

Olivier Grosso

CNRS Engineer Mass spectrometry

Master students

Rémi Legrand 

Aix-Marseille Université, Master in Computational and Mathematical Biology

Project: Improving nifH gene annotation

Visiting students

Jana Härri is a Master student at Nicolas Gruber's lab (ETH-Zürich, Switzerland). She will be visiting us in April 2022 to analyze qPCR diazotroph samples from the North Atlantic Ocean

Lisa von Friesen is a PhD student at Lasse's Riemann's lab (Unversity of Copenhaguen, Denmark). She will be visiting us in October to analyze IRMS and MIMS samples from an Arctic Ocean cruise

Christian Furbo Reeder from the SDU (Germany) is visiting us in December 2021 to learn diazotroph culturing techniques and work of nifD gene annotation together with Subhadeep Chowdhury in the frame of the projects DINDE/IDEFIX

Jacqueline Umbricht and Angelina Klett from the Leibniz-Baltic Sea Research Institute (Germany) are visiting us in summer 2021 to work on the NOTION project experiments


Isabel Baños , PhD student

Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, co-supervised with Javier Arístegui (ULPGC) and Federico Baltar (UWien)

Thesis: The effect of climate change stressors on marine plankton respiration 

Arthur Coët, Master student

Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 

Project: Particles as niches for non-cyanobacterial diazotrophs

Cinthya Vieira, Master student

Universidad Autónoma de México

Project: Assessing cyanobacterial diazotroph mixotrophy: global distribution of DOM uptake genes

Jean-Charles Cancel, Postdoc

Aix-Marseille Université

Project: Near real-time quantification of diazotrophs through nanobody immunolabeling

Emile Seris, Biotech Engineer

Sup'Biotech Paris

Project: Growth of diazotrophic cyanobacteria under climate change scenarios

Alana Boyer, Biotech Engineer

Polytech Aix-Marseille Université

Project: Exploring microbes in marine particles: function, traits and diversity associated

Clara Ducrocq, L3 Biology

Université de Versailles

Project: Marine microbial respiration under climate change

Louis Conradt, Master student

Master Recherche d'Océanographie spécialité Océanographie physique et biogéochimique, Aix-Marseille Université

Project: Fine scale variability of nitrogen fixation in the western tropical South Pacific Ocean

Louise Miech, Biotech Engineer

Sup'Biotech Paris

Project: Role of diazotrophs in coral nitrogen nutrition

Emilie Poletti, Master student

Master Recherche d’Océanographie spécialité Biologie Écologie Marine, Aix-Marseille Université

Project: Cyanobacterial diazotrophs under pressure