Meet the Team
The core scientists of the NERC funded REMAIN project are based at the University of East Anglia (UEA), but the project includes an international team of experts brought together to undertake an innovative combination of laboratory and field work. Scroll down to find out more about them!
Prof. Carol Robinson
Carol Robinson (UEA, school of Environmental Science) is the Principal Investigator of the REMAIN project. She is an expert in microbial community respiration and has considerable experience of leading multidisciplinary teams involving complex
shipboard analyses, for example a NERC funded UK SOLAS project on coastal upwellings, and the NERC large grant – the Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT) programme. She is also Chair of the IMBER (www.imber.info) scientific steering committee. Carol took part in the AMT28 to determine plankton respiration using the traditional Winkler O2 technique.
Dr. Isabel Seguro
Isabel Seguro, aka Chata, is Senior Research Associate at REMAIN. Her research interest focuses on the use of state-of-the-art techniques for the estimation of primary production and respiration.
She is based at UEA, in the school of Environmental Science. Here she expend most of her time doing laboratory culture tests to the validate the INT method in order to determine which factors influence the apportionment of respiration within the plankton community.
Chata participated in the AMT28 -Atlantic Meridional Transit- to validate the method in natural population and determine which plankton groups are the major contributors of CO2 production.
Dr. Elena Garcia-Martin
Elena García-Martín (National Oceanographic Centre, previously at UEA) is an expert on plankton metabolism, with special focus on estimating plankton respiration applying several techniques (INT reduction technique, oxygen consumption by Winkler titrations and optical sensors). She has extensively used and applied all the previous method with natural plankton populations, from polar to tropical regions, and with plankton cultures. She brings her knowledge and expertise on the INT reduction method to the REMAIN team.
Dr. Cecilia Liszka
Cecilia Liszka was Postdoctoral Researcher at UEA. She completed her PhD research with the British Antarctic Survey and University of East Anglia, studying the role of the zooplankton community in mediating active flux in the Southern Ocean.
She was working in UEA on the REMAIN project and sampling for RNA, DOC/N/P, and phytoplankton, during the Atlantic Meridional Transect research campaign. She is currently working at BAS.
Dr. María Paz Muñoz
Paz Muñoz (UEA, school of Chemistry) is an organic chemist with expertise in organic and organometallic methodologies for the synthesis of molecules with potential biological activity. She has the ideal skillset and experience required to design and synthesise labelled INT in order to visualise its cellular uptake.
Dr. Natalia Osma
Natalia Osma is a postdoctoral researcher at the Millenium Institute of Oceanography (Concepcion, Chile), where she investigates the effect of environmental stressors on physiological traits of zooplankton. Her PhD (ULPGC) focused on the factors affecting the respiratory metabolism of marine plankton and on its biochemical regulatory mechanisms.
Her role within the REMAIN project is to analyze on land-based laboratory the plankton samples collected during AMT28 cruise. She measured the enzymatic activity of the electron transport system (ETS) as well as the concentration of pyridine nucleotides, the substrates of the ETS. With this, she will apply an enzyme kinetic model to determine the in situ respiration rates, which will be compared with the INT and Winkler methods. http://en.imo-chile.cl/team/osma-natalia.html
Dr. Lewis Williams
Lewis Williams is a Postdoctoral researcher working in Chemistry at the University of East Anglia. He has broad Organic Chemistry/Chemical Biology experience, including transition-metal catalysis, the development of radiotracers and the synthesis of cellular superoxide probes. During this project, he is responsible for the chemical design and synthesis of fluorescent tetrazolium salt analogues which will allow a deeper understanding of the INT-reduction process.
Dr. Igor Fernández Urruzola
Igor Fernandez is a postdoctoral researcher working at the Millennium Institute of Oceanography (Concepcion, Chile). His research interest focuses on the vertical carbon flux mediated by plankton respiration in the deep waters of the Southeastern Pacific.
During the AMT28 he measured respiration in the bacterial community by applying an enzymatic approach that considers both the electron transport system activity (ETS) and the availability of intracellular substrates.
Dr. Nicholas James Watmough
Nick Watmough (UEA) is a biochemist with >30y experience in both mitochondrial and bacterial electron transport systems (ETS) and their component enzymes.
He has extensive experience in the use of inhibitors to isolate segments of ETSs, expertise that is crucial to the design of the culture experiments to assess to what extent INT reduction cannot be attributed to respiratory enzymes.
Dr. Theodore Packard
Ted Packard (University Las Palmas of Gran Canaria, ULPGC, Spain) is the originator of the ETS technique and senior author of the enzyme kinetic model (EKM).
He will provide expertise in interpreting and publishing the data.
Prof. Boris Koch
Boris Koch is project partner in the Alfred Wegener Institute, Germany. He is a pioneer in the extraction of dissolved organic material (DOM) from marine waters using solid-phase extraction. He will provide the knowledge in order to produce natural extracts of marine DOM for the experiments to assess the influence of increasing DOM concentrations.
Prof. Stephen Giovannoni
Steve Giovannoni is a project partner based at Oregon State University, USA. He is the world expert in the growth and manipulation of SAR11 clade bacteria, the most abundant marine heterotroph. He has provided SAR11 cultures to the project, and oversaw the experiments on SAR11 we undertook in his laboratory.
Prof. Jonathan Todd
Jon Todd (UEA) is an experienced molecular microbiologist.
He is responsible for overseeing the culture experiments with heterotrophic bacteria and for analysis of the rRNA gene sequencing to determine microbial community structure.
Prof. May Gómez
May Gómez is the head of the Marine
Ecophysiology Group at ULPGC.
She is an expert in ETS and will provide access to her laboratory for the ETS, protein, and pyridine nucleotide analysis.
Dr. Erik Buitenhuis
Erik Buitenhuis (UEA) oversees the phytoplankton culture work.
He has substantial experience of maintaining cultures of phytoplankton to derive parameterisations of microbial processes for incorporation into ecosystem models.
Dr. Kevin Vikstrom
Kevin Vikstrom is a new member of the team, funded by The Leverhulme Trust. His background is in bacterial ecology with a focus on measuring bacterial respiration using oxygen OPTODES (utilizing dynamic luminescence quenching). His previous work includes ecosystem relevant maintenance respiration estimation of bacterial communities, method development and environmental management. He will continue the work on INT uptake by bacterial communitiescontinuing the work started by Elena Garcia-Martin.