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2020 NIMBioS SRE Program

Modeling the effects of pathogenic bacteria on phytoplankton community mortality

Phytoplankton image. Participants:
Umang Joshi, Biology, Computer Science, Xavier Univ.
Michael Lin, Biophysics, Johns Hopkins Univ.
Stephanie Westaway, Physics, Mathematics, Samford Univ.

Dr. David Talmy, Microbiology, Genome Science & Technology, Univ. of Tennessee
Dr. Audra Hinson, Microbiology, Univ. of Tennessee
Dr. Harshana Rajakaruna, Microbiology, Univ. of Tennessee

Project Description. Phytoplankton are photosynthetic organisms that fuel the vast majority of marine ecosystem production. Many other planktonic organisms feed on phytoplankton, directing nutrients and energy through contrasting pathways. Within these systems, algicidal bacteria (i.e. bacteria that are pathogenic to eukaryotic algae) may play important yet poorly quantified roles. In this project, we will develop mathematical models to explore the effects of pathogenic bacteria on phytoplankton community mortality. The models will be developed using laboratory data describing population dynamics during infection experiments. The project will involve a combination of data management, programming, and model development, depending on the skills and interests of the students.

U. Joshi photo.
Umang Joshi
M. Lin photo.
Michael Lin
S. Westaway photo.
Stephanie Westaway

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From 2008 until early 2021, NIMBioS was supported by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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