Seminar details

12noon—1.00pm, Friday 8 July 2016, QBP Auditorium (Building 80), UQ St Lucia campus

Please note: Seating is limited. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.


Professor Edward DeLong

Professor of Oceanography, University of Hawaii


Towards four-dimensional (eco)systems biology in the sea

Microbial communities regulate the cycling of energy and matter in the marine environment, yet how they dynamically respond to both natural and anthropogenic environmental changes is not well understood. Genome-enabled methodologies are providing deeper perspective on the nature and identity of microbial taxa, genes, and metabolic diversity in the marine environment, but a major challenge is defining the variability of these on relevant spatial and temporal scales.

Novel in situ robotic sampling strategies that capture transcriptomic temporal profiles of wild planktonic microbial populations show that individual coexisting eukaryote, bacterial and archaeal populations display remarkably similar time-variable patterns of synchronous gene expression over extended periods of time. These patterns appear to be robust, and conserved in genetically related populations that span the Pacific Ocean. Specific environmental cues may elicit cross-species coordination of gene expression among diverse microbial groups that potentially enable multispecies coupling of metabolic activity. These data are leading to testable hypotheses about how microbial interspecies matter and energy exchange may influence the cycling of matter and energy in the ocean.

Watch the full seminar

Speaker bio

Edward DeLong is Professor of Oceanography at University of Hawaii, Manoa. Ed serves as co-Director for the Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education (C-MORE), and the Simons Collaboration on Ocean Processes and Ecology (SCOPE). He is a Fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology, the American Academy of Arts and Science, the US National Academy of Science, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His scientific interests focus on marine microbial genomics, biogeochemistry, ecology and evolution. Currently he is coupling the use of autonomous robotic sensors and samplers with genomic technologies, to derive high-resolution spatial and temporal maps of microbial community gene expression datasets in situ.

Seminar host

Professor Mark Ragan, IMB 2016 Winter School in Mathematical and Computational Biology co-host,



Qld Bioscience Precinct, Building 80, 306 Carmody Road, UQ St Lucia