Single-celled microbial eukaryotes encompass a wide range of genetic, morphological, and functional diversity, positioning them at the epicenter of complex aquatic food webs. By understanding microbial eukaryotic nutritional roles (i.e., phototrophy, heterotrophy, and mixotrophy) and the impact these activities have on the surrounding microbial community and environment (i.e., rates of bacterial mortality, carbon transfer, regeneration of basic nutrients, etc.), we will have a more complete knowledge of their contributions to global biogeochemical cycles and how energy and carbon flows through to other trophic levels. I am a microbial ecologist and oceanographer working to characterize the in situ community and metabolic diversity of microbial eukaryotes. Currently, I am working on ways to combine molecular techniques and grazing experiments to understandmicrobial community structure and identify transcriptional patterns associated with key metabolic strategies.
sarah.hu [at] whoi.edu