Aquatic Ecology Lab

Our lab is based in the Graham Kerr building within the awesome Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine. Here we carry out biodiversity experiments with phytoplankton microcosms in incubators using our microalgae collection. We also test for effects of stressors such as light and microplastics on ecosystem services provided by marine bivalves.  In collaboration with the Llewellyn lab and the University of Helsinki we develop an eDNA based tool for the detection of aquaculture pathogens. We also collaborate with the department of Polyomics in Glasgow University for microalgae metabolomics and genomics.

Field sites and experimental mesocosms

In collaboration with the Department of Marine Sciences, University of the Aegean in Greece as well as shellfish and salmon Aquaculture sites in Scotland (eg. Scottish Sea farms) we carry out research related to coastal ecosystems such as drivers of alpha and beta diversity, predictions of primary productivity and Harmful Algal Blooms, Water Quality Assessment, and anthropogenic impacts on coastal ecosystem goods and services. 

We also carry out experiments under semi-controlled conditions, in mesocosms that we develop ourselves or within the framework of the Aquacosm network

Theoretical ecology

We address exciting questions on species coexistence and "the paradox of plankton" using numerical simulations and multivariate modelling approaches suitable for community datasets. I'm particularly interested in the role of temporal fluctuations of resources on the emergence of species-rich assemblages and the relative role of niche over dispersal processes in shaping phytoplankton composition. On these topics, we collaborate with Roelke lab, at Texas A&M as well as the numerical simulations lab of G. Tsirtsis, in Aegean University.

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© 2019 by Sofie Spatharis

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