Instituto Antártico Argentino (IAA), Argentina
The ecology of Antarctic benthic algal communities -seaweeds and benthic diatoms- is the main interest of my research. I have particularly focused on the study of colonization and successional processes, their abiotic and ecological drivers (e.g. grazing), the taxonomy of benthic diatoms and early life stages of macroalgae, and the study of seaweeds as substrate and habitat providers, with a special emphasis on how patterns, processes and interactions are affected by global change-associated phenomena, such as climate warming and glacier retreat. Over several long-term expeditions to Antarctica I have conducted both field and laboratory work, having also collaborated in the ecological modelling of the Potter Cove marine ecosystem.
I will collaborate in assessing the contribution of benthic primary producers (macroalgae and microphytobenthos) to coastal carbon budgets, assess the effects of multifactorial drivers (changing abiotic factors such as temperature and sedimentation, and ecological drivers such as grazing) on community structure and functioning, study the effects of climate change on macroalgal habitat provision, and assess trophic links by the use of fatty acid profiling (collaboration with Dr. M. de Troch) as a proxy for carbon flow in Antarctic macroalgal forests.