Shedding light on the dark bathypelagic ocean: microbial life and survival strategies

15 Març 2019
Sala d'Actes
Impartida per: 
Dr. Marta Sebastian
Instituto de Oceanografía y Cambio Global, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria


                The bathypelagic ocean (1000-4000 m depth) is one of the largest ecosystems on Earth and contains a third of the ocean’s microbial biomass, but how microbes live and survive in this ecosystem is still largely enigmatic. It is assumed that the activity of bathypelagic microbes strongly relies on sinking particles that are produced in the upper layers of the ocean, but there is growing evidence that the carbon released through solubilisation of these particles may not be sufficient to meet their energy demands. In this talk I will present a summary of our latest research on how deep ocean prokaryotes cope with carbon deprivation, respond to sudden pulses of carbon and survive in this energy limited environment, using a multifaceted approach that combines bulk rate measurements with single-cell techniques, 16S-rRNA gene sequencing and metagenomics.


Brief biography

                Marta Sebastián received her B.S in Marine Sciences from the University of Cádiz in 1996. After completing a master in the department of Ecology she went on to the PhD program at the University of Malaga. In 2005, she moved as a postdoctoral fellow to Rutgers University in New Brunswick (USA) for four years, funded by the Ministry of Science-Fulbright and a Marie Curie OIF action. In 2009, she started working at the ICM-CSIC in Barcelona as a postdoctoral fellow until September 2015, when she became a research associate. In September 2017, she moved to work at the Instituto de Oceanografía y Cambio Global, in Gran Canaria, with a Viera y Clavijo contract. Her main research line attempts to understand the mechanisms underlying the structure of marine microbial communities and their impact on global biogeochemical cycles. She likes to combine oceanographic, biochemical, molecular, physiological and ‘omics’ approaches to answer questions related to marine microbial ecology.