Summer in the Sargasso Sea

The lab has been very busy this summer with a lot of field work and new collaborations! This last May we worked aboard the R/V Atlantic Explorer, in collaboration with Dr. Amy Maas from the Bermuda Institute for Ocean Sciences (BIOS), with the goal of studying the microbiome of zooplankton fecal pellets and the link to diel vertical migrations/circadian rhythms. We were also testing the role of zooplankton in particle formation and aggregation of Sargasso Sea plankton communities. The Neuer Lab’s role was to sample zooplankton fecal pellets all-around-the-clock, as well as perform the zooplankton-amended aggregation experiments. Check out the article on this expedition featured in The Bermudian Magazine! In June we were back aboard the R/V AE out in the Sargasso Sea to sample intact sinking particles using gel traps! The picked particles will be subjected to amplicon sequencing analyses, as well as microscopy using FISH-probes in collaboration with Dr. Rachel Parsons and the Microbial Ecology Laboratory...

The Neuer Lab goes abroad in collaboration with USAID and STRI

Neuer Lab graduate students Kassandra Dudek and Bianca Cruz have recently taken off to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Bocas Del Toro, Panama to conduct research on microplastics — a category of anthropogenic pollutants of ever-increasing concern. The focus of the research is to study the influence that marine microbial communities may have on the removal of these particles, how they may contribute to the settling of phyto- and bacterioplankton to depth, as well as microbial and UV degradation of plastics. In collaboration with Dr. Beth Polidoro, an Environmental Chemist at the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, they will also study the potential chemical pollutants adsorbed by these particles, which pose threats to the local marine food web and human societies. This research is being funded by ASU’s Global Development Research Program in collaboration with the U.S. Agency for International Development. Want to learn more? Follow their research and adventures through Kassandra’s...