Life at the limits – Algal physiology under extreme conditions
Snow algae are often found in polar and high alpine regions but can in theory bloom anywhere there is suitable snow and proper summer conditions; they are able to survive and bloom in the liquid phase of snow and ice. Outside of their active growth phase, snow algae can remain dormant, often during the long, dark and freezing temperatures of a polar winter. The project will investigate the limits of life of snow algae by subjecting the cells to various extreme conditions, including conditions analogous to Mars and the Moon. Metabolomic analysis will be carried out to reveal the metabolic pathways that allow them to thrive at these extremes. These findings will expand our understanding of physiological traits and their plasticity, as well as investigate applications for the Space exploration sector, for example, the potential of growing microalgae as “Space crop”.
Dr Matthew Davey The Scottish Association for Marine Science - UHI
Prof. Charles Cockell University of Edinburgh
This research is highly interdisciplinary and will contribute to SAGA project (current NERC grant NE/V000764/1 https://www.sams.ac.uk/science/projects/saga/)
2020 - 2022 Microbiology Support Scientist. SAMS
2019 - 2020 Lipid Analyst. SAMS
2016-17 Intern. IMEDMAR
2017 BSc (Hons) Grado en Ciencias del Mar. Catholic University of Valencia (with Erasmus exchange stay at SAMS UHI)
2017 Open Water Diver. PADI
2010 Aquatic Lifeguard. Royal Spanish Rescue and Lifeguard Federation
H1 “Fundamentals of marine chemistry” – Teaching tutorials and demonstrator support in laboratory practicals
H4 "Defining the marine carbon cycle” – Teaching laboratory practical work
Brown TA, Rad-Menéndez C, Ray JL, Skaar KS, Thomas N, Ruiz-Gonzalez C, Leu E. (2020) Influence of nutrient availability on Arctic sea ice diatom HBI lipid synthesis. Organic Geochemistry
Koch CW, Brown TA, Amiraux R, Ruiz-González C, MacCorquodale M, Yunda-Guarin GA, Loseto LL, Rosenberg B, Hussey NE, Ferguson SH, Yurkowski DJ. (2023) Year-round utilization of sea ice-associated carbon in Arctic ecosystems. Nature communications
O’Connell C, Ruiz-Gonzalez C, Rad-Menendez C, Perrineau MM, Strittmatter M, Gachon C. (2021) Development of a pan-European, genetically characterized Saccharina latissima seedbank. British Phycological Conference Nottingham (virtual conference) - January 2021.