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Extramural Research

Grantee Research Project Results

Grantee Research Project Results

Iron Geochemistry and Cyanobacterial Interactions

EPA Grant Number: U915890
Title: Iron Geochemistry and Cyanobacterial Interactions
Investigators: Wisniewski, Rachel J.
Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
EPA Project Officer: Boddie, Georgette
Project Period: January 1, 2001 through January 1, 2004
Project Amount: $102,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2001)
Research Category: Fellowship - Oceanography , Aquatic Ecosystems , Academic Fellowships



Zinc (Zn) is an important micronutrient for marine phytoplankton because of its use as a cofactor in a number of enzymes, including carbonic anhydrase and alkaline phosphatase. Culture experiments indicate that Zn can limit the growth of some phytoplankton species and affect phytoplankton community structure. The objective of this research project is to investigate the importance of Zn as a determinant of phytoplankton assemblages in the real world.


I will conduct field and culture studies that focus on the coupling of zinc with cobalt and phosphate. The ability of Zn to limit production in low-phosphate regimes or to select for growth of coccolithophores over diatoms could have a major impact on the global carbon cycle.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, zinc, Zn, phytoplankton, cobalt, phosphate, cyanobacteria, micronutrient, carbon cycle.

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The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

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