My name is Nele and in my Ph.D. project, I will look at phytoplankton in the Elbe estuary. I am particularly interested in how phytoplankton community composition is affected by the estuarine conditions (e.g. salinity gradients, turbidity) and how specific groups of phytoplankton deal with the changes in their environment while drifting from a freshwater to a brackish/marine environment. Ultimately, I will investigate how phytoplankton-related carbon cycling processes are affected by the estuarine conditions, by looking at the photosynthesis and respiration rates, organic carbon acquisition, interaction with aggregates and viral lysis.
Prior to my Ph.D. project, I have studied virus infections of the green algae Ostreococcus sp. in the Baltic Sea and the incorporation of marker genes into the algal genome.