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Dr Elisa Schaum
Associate Research Fellow


An oceanographer by training I joined the dark side of experimental evolution during my PhD. I am very interested in finding out how marine microbial organisms evolve in an ever-changing ocean and the repercussions thereof on an organismal and ecosystem level. We are only beginning to understand how phytoplankton or phytoplankton communities evolve in response to an increasingly weird environment, and much of the life history that contributes to the evolutionary dynamics of marine phytoplankton and hence stability of ocean ecosystems remains unknown.  In order to determine how the mechanistic basis for thermal responses in marine phytoplankton evolves, I am performing long-term selection experiments in Dr Gabriel Yvon-Durocher’s group, where we use (among other phytoplankton) diatoms, which are not only breathtakingly beautiful, but also play a key role in determining whether oceans take up or breathe out carbon dioxide.

I am a member of the Environment and Sustainability Institute.

View my full web profile.


2014 PhD in Evolutionary Biology (University of Edinburgh)
2008 Post Graduate Degree in Biology (Scottish Association for Marine Science/ University of Rostock)

Contact details

AddressEnvironment and Sustainability Institute
University of Exeter
Penryn Campus
TR10 9FE

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