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Identifying keystone microbes and planktonic guilds in Australia's oceans

Funding: 2017: $60,000
2018: $60,000
2019: $60,000

Project Member(s): Seymour, J.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Australian Research Council (ARC Discovery Projects)

Start year: 2017

Summary: This project aims to unveil the ocean’s hidden sentinels, those “keystone microbes” that underpin precious ecosystem services, and through which changes in ocean function can be monitored and modelled. Marine microbes account for 90% of oceanic biomass and every litre of seawater contains ~20,000 different species, but we don’t yet know which species are most pivotal in controlling ocean health and productivity. This unique project will remove traditional methodological biases and limitations to reveal these keystones, and provide definitive evidence of their cellular level biogeochemical and metabolic capacity. Ultimately, this knowledge will enhance our capacity to predict the resilience of ocean ecosystems and their response to change.


Giardina, M, Cheong, S, Marjo, CE, Clode, PL, Guagliardo, P, Pickford, R, Pernice, M, Seymour, JR & Raina, J-B 2018, 'Quantifying Inorganic Nitrogen Assimilation by Synechococcus Using Bulk and Single-Cell Mass Spectrometry: A Comparative Study', Frontiers in Microbiology, vol. 9, no. NOV.
View/Download from: Publisher's site

Keywords: Biological Oceanography, Microbial Ecology, Ecosystem Function

FOR Codes: Biological Oceanography, Ecosystem Function, Microbial Ecology, Marine Oceanic Processes (excl. climate related), Effects of Climate Change and Variability on Australia (excl. Social Impacts), Climate Change Adaptation Measures, Oceanic processes (excl. in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean), Effects of climate change on Australia (excl. social impacts), Climate change adaptation measures (excl. ecosystem)