Aquatic Sciences Meeting 2023
Our lab group and the new School of Ocean Futures were represented at the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography Aquatic Sciences Meeting in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, from June 4-9, 2023. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, this is the first ocean science meeting completely in person. Researchers from all over the globe were given a chance to present their latest projects in their respective fields. Catrina Shurtleff, Britni Livar, Yuuki Niimi, and Marc Fontanez Ortiz gave either oral or poster presentations about their work. They presented research highlighting the role of different planktonic organisms in particle formation and how they contribute to or alter the carbon being exported to depth. The exploration continues to contribute to our understanding of complex mechanisms in the ocean’s role in carbon sequestration.
Britni Livar gave an oral presentation on the role of particle-associated bacteria in aggregate formation in the ocean. The talk demonstrated the importance of bacteria in the aggregate formation process and why bacteria should be a focus when discussing particle formation and the biological carbon pump.
Marc Fontanez Ortiz
Marc Fontanez Ortiz presented a poster showcasing eddy events that trigger diatom export in the Sargasso Sea. Diatoms are one of the many phytoplankton that could contribute to the biological carbon pump and the formation of sinking particles but are rare in the Sargasso Sea. Marc presented DNA-based results of particles collected with floating particle traps and could show an event caused by a mesoscale eddy where diatoms contributed to sinking particles.
Catrina Shurtleff presented a poster on the aggregation, Transparent Exo-Polymer particle (TEP) production, and the subsequent sinking of the picoprasinophyte Ostreococcus, the nanodiatom Minutocellus, and the picocyanobacterium Prochlorococcus. Catrina stressed the importance of understanding particle formation in these tiny phytoplankton species and how different composition influences sinking velocities.
Yuuki Niimi presented a poster highlighting the contributions of key zooplankton taxa to fecal pellet production in the Sargasso Sea. Yuuki showed the differences between key zooplankton taxa and what it could signify for the role of zooplankton in producing or destroying sinking particles that carry organic carbon to depth.