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: Michaud, Jayne
Project Period: January 1, 2001 through January 1, 2004
Project Amount: $102,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2001) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
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.

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2001
  • 2002
  • Final