Andreas Profilbild

Andreas Novotny


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Works at Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences
Telephone 08-16 37 93
Visiting address Svante Arrhenius väg 20 A
Room N 493
Postal address Institutionen för ekologi miljö och botanik 106 91 Stockholm

About me

PhD student in Marine Ecology
Master of Science in the field of Biology, Stockholm University 2015
Digital CV from LinkedIn


Ecology I
The Baltic Sea Environment
Marine population and ecosystem dynamics



Molecular Analysis of Microbial Plankton Food Web Interactions

My research is focusing on developing new methods for better understanding of marine microbial food webs. Marine microorganisms have a key position in the global cycling of carbon and nitrogen.

The traditional view of marine planktonic food webs builds on a highly simplified model: photosynthesizing phytoplankton is responsible for the primary production, using sunlight to produce energy-rich carbon compounds. Zooplankton (Copepods and Daphnids) eats the phytoplankton and becomes food for fishes. Today we know that the reality is much more complicated than that: the majority of living organisms in the sea is neither fishes, nor zooplankton, but microorganisms: too small to be spotted by the human eye.

For copepods, unicellular protozoans (ciliates and flagellates) are equally important food as phytoplankton.  The protozoans are feeding on even smaller protozoans, unicellular phytoplankton or bacteria, important in the biogeochemical cycles. To date, we know very little about the flow of energy and nutrients between different microorganisms, on a taxonomic level: which are the species involved, and which are the most important species for transferring nutrients and energy to the higher trophic levels in the food web?

In our research, we are developing modern DNA-based methods to increase our knowledge of the microbial food chain. The genetic material of the microorganisms is used as a barcode for identification and quantification. Using these new techniques, we can address new questions and answers: “Who eats whom, in the microbial world? “

Using a pipette, we select single individuals under the microscope for DNA analysis. This is Evadne, a Cladoceran.
Using a pipette, we select single individuals under the microscope for DNA analysis. This is Evadne, a Cladoceran.

Food webs dynamic interactions between species and are constantly changing. An important question is how different protozoans, through grazing on the bacterial community, is influencing the abundance of different microorganisms. How does this impact differ along environmental gradients, and how does this change on a seasonal basis? At last, how do human activities influence these basal organisms, constituting the invisible majority of the oceans?

Part of this project:

Supervisor: Monika Quinones Winder
Co-Supervisor: Love Dalén
Post Doc. Researcher: Sara Zamora-Terol


Last updated: April 6, 2018

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