Graduate Research Assistant, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Dept. of Biology
Bio: Having grown up in Mumbai, India right next to the Arabian Sea I have a life-long obsession with oceans. I remember being awed by bioluminescence as a child at the beach and the rest as they say is history. I have a background in zoology and environmental science and currently I am a Master’s student at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and a member of the Stauffer lab where we study the factors that structure phytoplankton communities, algal blooms and the food web interactions amongst protists that include phytoplankton and microzooplankton, in coastal marine food webs. This will be my first time at sea on a research cruise of this duration and my first time in the Gulf of Mexico past the barrier islands and the Mississippi river plume. I am really excited about getting to study ocean food webs and seeing some cool ocean protists.
What I’m doing on this cruise: We are studying how microscopic algae and the tiny organisms that eat them interact with each other, how the changing Gulf of Mexico – which is undergoing warming, ocean acidification, and continued eutrophication – affects their communities and who is eating whom.