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Postdoctoral Research Scientist
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Biology and Paleo Environment
10 Marine Biology
61 Route 9W - PO Box 1000
(845) 365-8619
(845) 365-8150


Fields of interest: 
Aquatic Microbiology, Microbial and Phytoplankton Ecology, Biogeochemistry, Microscopy and Bioimaging, Molecular Biology

My work is currently focused on investigating the impacts of oil and natural gas inputs on the microbial and planktonic community in the Gulf of Mexico. We are  focused on describing the phytoplankton assemblages near natural oil and gas seeps in the Gulf of Mexico based on data acquired using satellite imaging, in-situ fluorometry and autonomous profilers. We are also looking at the response of microbes in the water column to inputs of oil, nutrients, and grazing/predation stress, to better understand the nature of oil biodegradation in these ecosystems.

I am also interested in microbial communities associated with ice in marine and freshwater ecosystems. My earlier work on the Laurentian Great Lakes involved characterizing the dominant psychrophyles in a winter phytoplankton bloom, focusing on microscopy, nutrient stoichiometry, and primary productivity. In addition, we also described a symbiotic association between the dominant diatoms in these blooms and their bacterial epiphytes that could engineer their environment by directed formation of ice. My colleagues and I have recently been looking for similar sympagic communities in other high-latitude aquatic environments.

List of degrees from highest to lowest:
Ph.D. (Biology - Aquatic Ecology)
Bowling Green State University, Ohio
M.S. (Zoology - Molecular Biology)
University of Pune, India.
B.S. (Microbiology)
H.V.D. College - University of Pune, India

Selected Publications:

Natural oil slicks fuel surface water microbial activities in the northern Gulf of Mexico Ziervogel, K.; D'souza, N.; Sweet, J.; Yan, B.; Passow, U. Front. Microbiol. Volume: 5 Issue: 188 (2014) doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2014.00188
Diatom assemblages promote ice formation in large lakes. D'souza, N. A.; Kawarasaki, Y.; Gantz, J. D.; Lee, R.E.; Beall, B.F.N.; Shtarkman, Y.M.; Koçer, Z.A.; Rogers, S.O.; Wildschutte, H.; Bullerjahn, G. S.; McKay, R.M.L. The ISME Journal. Volume: 7 p.: 1632-1640 (2013) 10.1038/ismej.2013.49
Seasonal Si:C ratios in Lake Erie diatoms - evidence of an active winter diatom community Saxton, M. A.; D'souza, N. A.; Bourbonniere, R. A.; McKay, R. M. L.; Wilhelm, S. W. Journal of Great Lakes Research Volume: 38 Issue: 2 p.: 206-211 (2012) 10.1016/j.jglr.2012.02.009
Diatoms abound in ice-covered Lake Erie: Investigation of offshore winter limnology in Lake Erie over the period 2007 to 2010. Twiss, M. R.; McKay, R. M. L.; Bourbonniere, R. A.; Bullerjahn, G. S.; Carrick, H. J.; Smith, R. E. H.; Winter, J. G.; D'souza, N. A.; Furey, P. C.; Lashaway, A. R.; Saxton, M. A.; Wilhelm, S. W. Journal of Great Lakes Research Volume: 38 p.: 18-30 (2012) 10.1016/j.jglr.2011.12.008