Alexis Yelton, MIT:
As a postdoctoral fellow in the Penny Chisholm lab, Alexis studies the degradation of organic compounds in ocean ecosystems using metagenomic, transcriptomic, and physiological methods. Currently she is working on a global metagenomics dataset of nutrient uptake transporter genes to determine the extent of mixotrophy, operationally defined as the uptake of organic compounds by photoautotrophs. She is also investigating the ability of Prochlorococcus, the most abundant phototroph in the oceans, to break down chitin, a large organic polymer as well as its ability to take up and metabolize amino acids. As a female researcher interested in promoting both science and equality, she is actively seeking out ways to improve the status of women and minorities in the scientific field.
Bethanie Rachele Edwards, MIT/WHOI:
Bethanie is interested in understanding how chemical signals produced by marine microbes may impact ocean biogeochemistry. She has primarily focused on determining how bacteria associated with sinking particles respond to polyunsaturated aldehydes (PUAs) that diatoms produce under stress. This is an intriguing question because PUAs are produced during bloom decline and have the potential to stimulate or inhibit particle associated bacteria as the diatom-derived organic matter is being exported, which could alter carbon export efficiency and nutrient retention in the upper ocean.
Julia Gauglitz, WHOI:
Julia Gauglitz is a postdoctoral scholar at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Her research focuses on how microorganisms respond to trace metal limitation in the oceans. She is currently using environmental proteomics to understand the molecular mechanisms of iron uptake and the physiological responses to both long term and short term changes in iron availability. Her work ties changes in protein expression in laboratory and field incubations to iron uptake, utilization and coping strategies, with an overarching goal of better understand the interplay between metal bioavailability, organometallic proteins and biogeochemical cycles. She has a strong commitment for increasing diversity and the retention of women faculty in marine science.