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mordret solennPhD Student
Section EMI

Tel. +39 081 5833201
Fax: +39 081 7641355
e-mail solenn.mordret(at)szn.it

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Research interests

The term "protist" is commonly used to describe all unicellular eukaryotes. These small microbial organisms can range from 1-2 micrometres to a few millimetres in size and display a wide spectrum of different shapes and functions. They occur everywhere on the planet, in every different environment that you would expect life to be, and are extremely abundant and diverse. In marine environments, protists are known to represent an essential part of the "plankton" community, small organisms drifting passively in the sea according to the currents. They mostly occupy the sunlit surface layer of the ocean and play an essential role in the interface atmosphere – deep ocean, acting as important primary producers, consumers, decomposers of global marine trophic chains. However, despite their importance in global ocean ecology and biogeochemistry, protist diversity remains poorly characterized. The aim of my PhD is to study the diversity of selected groups of protists occurring in the Gulf of Naples. In practice, I am working on dinoflagellates integrating molecular and morphological techniques in order to taxonomically characterize a high number of cultivated strains and single cells directly isolated from natural samples. I am building a phylogenetic tree based on reference SSU sequences available in GenBank and with my validated sequences gained from the combined morphological-molecular analysis. With these results I will evaluate diversity  and seasonality of dinoflagellates in environmental NGS (Next Generation Sequencing) data from the Gulf of Naples.

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