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Marine microbes - The ocean's lifeblood?

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22 September 2010 Video length icon 44:28
Video tags icon environmental science, marine, microbes, oceans, climate change

How do these tiny microbes contribute to ocean function and how will they respond to climate change?

Over 70% of Earth is covered by ocean, but when we think of life in the ocean, we often think of fish, sharks, and whales - life that is visible to the naked eye. You’ll be amazed to learn that most life in the ocean is microbial – the tiny, invisible organisms!

Over 90% of ocean biomass is made up of marine microbes. So what are they? They include the ocean’s bacteria, viruses and algae. They are also the most diverse and abundant organisms on earth. They are essential in the function of the ocean because they are the foundation of our marine food-web and are critically important in preserving ecosystem functions and supporting fisheries production. These tiny marine microbes even influence our climate by driving the earth’s major chemical cycles.

This seminar examines the role and challenges in studying these marine microbes, and will reveal how understanding their ecology is essential for predicting the consequences of an over-exploited ocean and its impact on climate change.

About the speakers

Senior Research Fellow, Dr Martina Doblin is a phytoplankton ecologist investigating microscopic algae in the ocean as well as in coastal and inland waters. Her current research examines aquatic food-web function in relation to environmental changes driven by global and regional processes such as climate change and eutrophication.

Martina is a member of the Aquatic Processes Group at UTS which is part of the UTS Science research strength area C3, Plant Functional Biology and Climate Change Cluster.

Research Fellow, Dr Justin Seymour is a marine microbial ecologist with a broad range of research interests that incorporate aquatic microbial ecology and biological oceanography. His main research focus involves examining the behaviour and ecological interactions of marine microorganisms, with the objective of deciphering how these microscopic organisms drive the chemical cycles and food-web dynamics that ultimately determine how the ocean operates.

Justin is also a member of the Aquatic Processes Group at UTS which is part of the UTS Science research strength area C3, Plant Functional Biology and Climate Change Cluster.
 

UTS Science in Focus is a free public lecture series showcasing the latest research from prominent UTS scientists and researchers.
 

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