Maria Vernet

Research Biologist (RTAD)

I am a marine phytoplankton ecologist with specialization in polar environments, both Antarctic and Arctic. My interests are wide ranging, from taxonomy to primary production, dynamics of plankton communities, planktonic food webs and pelagic-benthic coupling. My approach has been mostly experimental, based on laboratory and field studies, more recently including inverse modeling of food webs. During the last 15 years my projects have concentrated on ice-phytoplankton interactions, studying response of plankton after Antarctic ice-shelf breakup, the ecosystem around drifting icebergs and more recently the influence of glacier meltwater in Antarctic and Greenland fjords. For the last five years my lab has collaborated with the tourist ship industry to the Antarctic Peninsula (IAATO) to extend sampling of phytoplankton along the Peninsula fjords, a highly successful approach not only to obtain samples of scientific relevance but also as an effective way to reach non-scientists and involve them in research.