Dianne I. Greenfield
Science Building, Room E206
Phytoplankton, microscopic organisms that form the base of aquatic food webs, generate approximately half of the world’s oxygen through photosynthesis and exert considerable influence over nutrient and carbon cycling. I study the complex feedbacks between global change stressors (such as urbanization, nutrients, and climate) and coastal phytoplankton ecology, physiology, and biogeochemistry. This includes but is not limited to the causes and consequences of ‘harmful algal blooms’ (HABs), events resulting in negative ecological, health, and/or economic impacts. To achieve this goal, I develop and apply molecular tools to study plankton populations in situ and combine these advances with field and laboratory studies. Since phytoplankton dynamics are central to ecosystem productivity, I also try to understand their linkages with trophic structure and function.
I am actively searching for talented, enthusiastic students (undergraduate and graduate) and researchers to join my group. Please email me with questions and/or to schedule a phone call.
Teaching and Outreach Philosophy:
Oceanography is fun! Interacting with students is the best part of my job, and I believe that students learn through multiple information sources and by active participation. This includes discussions of primary literature, lectures, writing assignments, and hands-on field and laboratory experience. I encourage students to explore scientific topics that they find interesting and to develop research questions and/or hypotheses around those subjects. I also believe in substantial outreach and help students effectively communicate their findings through conferences, publications, workshops, and electronically.