My research interests focus on understanding phytoplankton ecology, investigating their population genetic / genomic structure across space and time, the community diversity across environmental gradients and the interactions between bacteria and phytoplankton species. To assess these goals, I mostly use molecular and bioinformatic tools, microscopy, and cell hybridization techniques.
I explored, during my Ph.D.-thesis, the population genetic structure of a toxic pennate diatom Pseudo-nitzschia multistriata in the Gulf of Naples, Italy, and its dynamic over time, using genetic markers (microsatellites, ITS regions). These markers were further employed to estimate how fast microsatellites can evolve in the field, using mating experiments and measurements of mitotic changes in cultures.
During a 2-years Postdoctoral Fellow with CAnMove and Aquatic Ecology Unit, Lund University, Sweden, I investigated the community diversity in protists, in a region of Antarctica, using 18S rDNA marker and high throughput 454-pyrosequencing. The role of environmental factors, lake-history, and organismal dispersal on community structures was evaluated.
In a second postdoctoral position with CeMEB (www.cemeb.science.gu.se) and the Department of Marine Sciences, University of Gothenburg (sylvie [dot] tesson [at] gu [dot] se), I joined in the ecological study of Skeletonema marinoi, a diatom species, whose capacity to form resting stages provides short-term evolutionary genomic archives in sediment. We investigate the human-mediated impact on S. marinoi populations revived from up-to-a-century sediment layers. I am contributing to its genome sequencing using Illlumina and Pacific Biosciences libraries and am checking the genomic structure of its populations over space and time.