Harriet Alexander



​Harriet during field work in Hawaii
I am a PhD candidate in the  MIT-WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography with a passion for phytoplankton and large datasets. My research focuses on bringing high-throughput sequencing techniques into the field to better understand the physiological ecology of eukaryotic phytoplankton, which form the base of the marine food web. I am mainly interested in the role they play in biogeochemical cycles (i.e. how they use and change carbon, nitrogen, or phosphorus) and how they interact with higher trophic levels. On this cruise I will be taking samples to survey the global gene expression pathways of eukaryotic phytoplankton, as well as performing various manipulation experiments to identify signals associated with macro- and micro- grazers. I have my fingers crossed that we come across a lot of diatoms (maybe even a bloom!) and, of course, krill! Up until this cruise all my work has been in the tropics– so I am excited to go some place cold.
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