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Red Sea Research Center Seminar - Tamara Huete-Stauffer

Start Date: September 13, 2017
End Date: September 13, 2017

TITLE:  Marine heterotrophic bacteria and warming: insights from experimental in the temperate North Atlantic
DATE: Wednesday, September 13, 2017
TIME: 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Auditorium 0215 · between Buildings 2 & 3

Marine heterotrophic bacteria play key roles in the ocean’s biogeochemical cycles, especially in that of carbon, since their metabolism is based in the uptake of dissolved organic carbon and the remineralization and respiration of CO2. Bacteria represent the smallest living organisms but the most abundant prokaryotic group, accounting for a mayor share of the oceans biomass. As well, bacteria are ectothermic unicellular organisms, and therefore, their metabolism (e.g. respiration, production and growth rates) and physiological traits (e.g. size, biomass) are strongly dependent on temperature. For all the aforementioned reasons, it is crucial to understand the responses of marine bacteria to increases in temperature to better understand the consequences of global warming in the oceans. In this seminar I present the results of two studies developed in the temperate North Atlantic using experimental incubations. We analyzed the effect of temperature on the growth rates of marine bacteria in the first study, and on the different compartments of the microbial carbon flux in the second. Considering both studies jointly, heterotrophic marine bacteria were sensible to warming but the responses varied accordingly with the seasonal changes in stratification and mixing typical of the studied system. In particular, the interaction between temperature and the availability of substrates for bacteria proved to become decisive in determining a future increase of bacterial numbers and metabolism in the central Cantabrian Sea.

I was born and raised in Madrid were I finished my Degree in Biology by the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in 2009. I did my Master in Marine Biology and Conservation in Universidad de Oviedo in 2011, in a small coastal town in the Northern part of Spain called Gijón. During this time I met Professor Moran and started working with marine bacteria. He became the advisor of my PhD, which I finished last December (2016), also through the Universidad de Oviedo. My work has been focused on the study of physiological groups of marine bacteria and the effects of temperature upon them, as will be seen during this presentation, where I have summarized some of the studies I developed during my PhD. I started in July at KAUST as a Postdoc for the Center Competitive Fund (CCF), studying the variability of marine prokaryotes across the latitudinal gradient of the Red Sea. I will be exploring both the physiological groups studied using flow cytometry, as well as the taxonomic groups of prokaryotes studied by sequencing DNA. I am very excited to start working and understand better the prokaryotes of the Red Sea.