Prof. Dr. Elisa Schaum
Research interests and scientific accomplishments
An oceanographer turned evolutionary biologist, I investigate the adaptive potential of large marine microbial populations, i.e. I focus on what makes some populations better than others at coping with aspects of climate change in the long-term. Apart from pure curiosity, there is ecological reasoning to this madness, as marine microbes are the foundations of ocean food-webs and biogeochemical cycles, and changes on the microbial level will inevitable have major repercussions on aquatic ecosystems. In my lab, we examine climate change through the lens of both evolutionary biology (under which circumstances do we expect organisms to evolve and how fast, and how much?) and oceanography (what are the ecological repercussions of rapid evolutionary responses? How can we regale modellers with better data?). This includes but is not limited to investigating the role of marine viruses, species interactions, and environmental variability, in a changing world.
2011 - 2014: Dr. phil. (evolutionary biology): University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland,
2006-2008: Joint Diplom/MRes (biological oceanography): University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany, and Scottish Association for Marine Sciences, Oban, Scotland
2017 - present: Junior Professor for Plankton Ecology, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
2014-2017: Research Associate at the University of Exeter (Environment and Sustainability Institute, Cornwall Campus, Penryn),
Xu, D., Schaum, C. E., Li, B., Chen, Y., Tong, S., Fu, F. X., Hutchins, D.A., Zhang, X., Fan, X., Han, W., Ye, N. (2021). Acclimation and adaptation to elevated pCO2 increase arsenic resilience in marine diatoms. The ISME Journal, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41396-020-00873-y
Barton, S., Jenkins, J , Buckling, Schaum,C.E., Smirnoff, N, Raven, J.A., Yvon‐Durocher, G., (2020). Evolutionary temperature compensation of carbon fixation in marine phytoplankton, Ecology Letters, https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.13469
Zhong, D, Listmann, L. , Santelia, M.E., Schaum, C. E.(2020).Functional redundancy in natural pico-phytoplankton communities depends on temperature and biogeography, Biology Letters, 16, 8 , doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2020.0330
Beckmann, A., Schaum, C. E., & Hense, I. (2019). Phytoplankton adaptation in ecosystem models. Journal of theoretical biology, 468, 60-71.
C.E. Schaum (2019) 'Enhanced biofilm formation aids adaptation to extreme warming and environmental instability in the diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana and its associated bacteria' Limnology and Oceanography, https://doi.org/10.1002/lno.11050
García-Carreras, Bernardo, Sofía Sal, Daniel Padfield, Dimitrios-Georgios Kontopoulos, Elvire Bestion, C-Elisa Schaum, Gabriel Yvon-Durocher, and Samrāt Pawar (2018). "Role of carbon allocation efficiency in the temperature dependence of autotroph growth rates." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: 201800222.
Schaum, CE; Buckling, A; Smirnoff, N; Studholme, DJ; Yvon-Durocher, G (2018): Environmental fluctuations accelerate molecular evolution of thermal tolerance in a marine diatom. Nature Communications 9, Article number: 1719: 1-14. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03906-5
Schaum, CE; Ffrench-Constant, R; Lowe, C; Olafsson, JS; Padfield, D; Yvon-Durocher, G (2018): Temperature-driven selection on metabolic traits increases the strength of an algal-grazer interaction in naturally warmed streams. Global Change Biology 4 (4): 1793-1803. DOI: 10.1111/gcb.14033