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Alyson Santoro Marine microbiologist

The Santoro laboratory studies marine microbes involved in nutrient cycling, especially of the element nitrogen. Nitrogen is the limiting nutrient for primary production and carbon fixation throughout most of ocean, so understanding its sources and sinks are essential to understanding nutrient flow in the sea. Her research group uses a combination of laboratory and field studies to understand the ecology of marine microbes and their contribution to global elemental cycles using a combination of molecular biology, cultivation, and stable isotope geochemistry.

Marine archaea are a specific focus of Santoro’s research. Archaea are single-celled organisms, distinct from bacteria, which form their own domain of life. They were once thought to be confined to ‘extreme’ environments of high pressure, temperature, or salt content but it is now known that archaea also inhabit more moderate environments such as the ocean and soils. Recent work in the lab has brought several marine archaea into culture, and shown their importance in producing the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O).

Awards

Simons Foundation Early Career Investigator in Marine Microbiology, 2015.

Sloan Research Fellowship, 2015.

Relevant Publications

W.D. Orsi et al, "Ecophysiology of uncultivated marine euryarchaea is linked to particulate organic matter," ISME J., vol. 9, no. 8, pp. 1747-63, Aug. 2015.

A.E. Santoro et al, "Genome and proteome of ‘Candidatus Nitrosopelagicus brevis’: An ammonia-oxidizing archaeon from the open ocean," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 112, no. 4, pp. 1173-1178, Jan. 2015.

A.E. Santoro and K.L. Casciotti, "Enrichment and characterization of ammonia-oxidizing archaea from the open ocean: Phylogeny, physiology, and stable isotope fractionation," ISME J., vol. 5, no. 11, pp. 1796-1808, 2011.

A.E. Santoro et al, "Isotopic composition of N2O produced by marine ammonia-oxidizing archaea," Science, vol. 333, no. 6047, pp. 1282-1285, 2011.

A.E. Santoro et al, "Activity, abundance, and diversity of nitrifying archaea and bacteria in the central California Current," Environ. Microbiol., vol. 12, no. 7, pp. 1989-2006, July 2010.

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Appointment

Associate Fellow Integrated Microbial Biodiversity

Institution

University of CaliforniaDepartment of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology

Education

Ph.D (Environmental Engineering) Stanford University

MS (Environmental Engineering) Stanford University

BA (Ecology and Evolution) Dartmouth College

Country

United States

Ideas Related to Alyson Santoro

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A global team of CIFAR researchers has captured the first images of a microbe that is one of the most abundant predators in the ocean, yet has until now remained unseen.

Announcement

Five CIFAR members honoured for their research achievements

Several prestigious awards announced in April recognized the outstanding contributions of CIFAR researchers to their fields of study. Two Killam...

Integrated Microbial Biodiversity | Announcement

Alyson Santoro wins Sloan fellowship

The Sloan Foundation has awarded Alyson Santoro (University of Maryland) one of its prestigious research fellowships. Santoro, an associate fellow...