Biology & Paleo Environment Events

Current BPE seminar organizing committee: Lorelei CurtinThomas WeissJan-Erik Tesdal

Time and Location: Mondays at 1 pm, Comer Seminar Room


Next seminar:

12/08/17, 12 PM: Edward DeLong, U.H. Mānoa

"Towards Four Dimensional Microbial (Eco)Systems Biology in the Sea"


Microbial communities regulate the cycling of energy and matter in the marine environment, yet the details of how they interact with one another, respond to environmental change, and how their activities vary in space and time, are not well understood. Genomic methods and allied technologies are now providing new perspective on the distribution of microbial taxa, genes, and processes in the marine environment. One of the larger challenges remaining is defining the dynamics and interactions of microbial taxa, gene and process distributions on appropriate spatial and temporal scales. How do microbial metabolic activities and interactions of specific planktonic microbial populations vary over the course of minutes, hours, days and weeks? Over what spatial scales? Put another way, exactly what does a typical “day in the life” of wild planktonic microbial species look like? We are leveraging Lagrangian survey strategies that employ robotic sampling techniques, and coupling these surveys with community-wide microbial gene expression analyses in wild planktonic microbial populations, to help answer some of these questions. Results using such approaches show that in surface waters, individual populations, as well as very different bacterial and archaeal species, display remarkably similar, time-variable patterns of synchronous gene expression over extended periods of time. These new results suggest that specific environmental cues may elicit cross-species coordination of gene expression among diverse microbial groups, that has potential to enable multispecies coupling of metabolic activities. We are currently trying to understand how such temporal compartmentalization of metabolism among different species might regulate matter and energy flux and biogeochemical cycles over time. The coupling of genome-enabled data with new approaches in observational oceanography has potential to advance our understanding of the inner workings of complex planktonic microbial ecosystems.


Fall 2017:

Date Speaker Title
Sep 18th Brendan Buckley
Southeast Asian tree rings and hydroclimate: recent developments and future prospects
Sep 25th Tina Lüdecke
Plio-Pleistocene hominin adaptation in the Malawi Rift: Persistent C3 vegetation in heterogeneous wooded savanna ecosystems
Oct 2nd David Talmy
What controls microbial predator-prey ratios in the global ocean?
Oct 13th Dana Royer
Climate crises past and future
Oct 16th Valier Galy
Climate forcing of the terrestrial organic carbon cycle during the last deglaciation: the Himalaya-Bengal fan example
Oct 23rd Kevin Becker
Phytoplankton's 'crash diet' – what lipidomics can tell us about microbial growth and energy flux in the ocean
Oct 30th Rupsa Roy
UMass Dartmouth
Growth Pattern and Intra-Shell Stable Isotopic Systematics of Modern Mollusks from Freshwater Lakes Along and Elevation Transect
Nov 6th   no seminar
Nov 13th Pamela McElwee
What Natural Scientists Should Know about Current Social Science Research on Forests
Nov 20th Chuck Fisher
Penn State
Covered with Oil in the Ivory Tower
Nov 27th Yuri Gorokhovich
Jones Point study: another glacial artifact or a key to geochronological puzzle?
Dec 4th Michael Hren
Cenozoic climate and tectonic evolution of western North America: An organic molecular perspective on paleotopography and paleohydrology during Cenozoic warm periods
Dec 8th Edward DeLong
U.H. Mānoa
Towards Four Dimensional Microbial (Eco)Systems Biology in the Sea