Sofie Spatharis, PhD
My research is centered around the question: What explains the coexistence of so many species?
I have always been fascinated by Hatchinson's "paradox of the plankton" and the ideas it has inspired since it was published in 1961. I also use phytoplankton as my model system; however, latelly I also collaborate with colleagues on bird biodiversity.
Besides biodiversity-related questions, I'm also intrigued by applied conservation aspects such as the impact of anthropogenic activities on coastal communities or the impact of Harmful Algal Blooms and other plankton-borne vectors on coastal seaweed and finfish Aquaculture.
With my collaborators, we try to address these questions applying a range of approaches that include dynamic modelling for generating hypotheses and then the testing of these using laboratory microcosms, field mesocosms and field sampling at both local (patch) and regional (metacommunity) scales.