The fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) observed that the ocean is becoming significantly warmer, fresher and more acidic. Researchers want to understand how marine microbial communities are responding to the changes that are increasing oxygen minimum zones (OMZs) or “dead zones” around the world. Since OMZs account for up to 50 percent of oceanic nitrogen production, they play an integral role in limiting primary production, which in turn impacts the carbon cycle not just at the marine but at the global scale. To better understand how the changing climate and OMZs affect marine microbial communities, the team plans to use single-cell genomics and computational approaches to develop a predictive framework for identifying and harnessing the hidden metabolic powers of microbial communities in natural and human engineered ecosystems.
PI: Steven Hallam, University of British Columbia, Canada