Thu 26 Oct 2017: 2.30pm [QE] – Emily Curren Ern-Min on “Diversity, distributions and ecology of tropical marine cyanobacteria”

Department of Biological Sciences, NUS
Qualifying Examination

“Diversity, distributions and ecology of tropical marine cyanobacteria”

Speaker:          Emily Curren Ern-Min (Graduate Student, Dept. of Biological Sciences, NUS)
Date:               26 Oct 2017, Thursday
Time:               2.30PM
Venue:             DBS Conference Room (S3 Level 5, #05-01)
Supervisor:      Professor Wong Sek Man

Abstract: – Cyanobacteria are oxygenic photosynthetic organisms that play important roles in primary production in the marine environment. The characterisation of cyanobacterial blooms and the diversity of cyanobacteria in the tropics have not been well documented. In this study, the diversity of marine cyanobacteria in Singapore is explored, with species characterisation using morphological and phylogenetic approaches. The invasive toxic cyanobacterium Moorea producens was prevalently distributed along the coasts of Singapore and I investigated its phylogeography, with divergence dating analysis.

The global dissemination of toxic cyanobacteria is of an increasing environmental concern. The bio-invasion of these marine organisms has been suggested to originate from the ballast water of ships and hitchhike on vectors such as microplastics. These non-indigenous cyanobacteria threaten local biodiversity and act as seeds of future harmful cyanobacterial blooms.  I intend to investigate microplastics as vectors for the introduction of invasive cyanobacteria, to understand the diversity of cyanobacterial biota hitchhiking on these surfaces.

All are welcome

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