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Miss Maria Grigoratou


I am a biological oceanographer with an expertise on plankton ecology. I was given the opportunity to study marine zooplankton ecology using a wide range of approaches and methods, from field, molecular analysis, lab culture and mesocosms experiments to more recently trait-based modelling. The aim of my PhD is to explore the mechanisms behind planktonic foraminifera ecology, using models as my method tool. Despite the important role of planktonic foraminifera in paleoceanography and carbonate pump, our knowledge on their ecology is limited. During my PhD, I developed the first 0D trait-based model and investigated the energetic costs and benefits of calcification, their feeding behaviour and resource competition with other zooplankters, as well as the environmental controls on two different life stages. I added my 0D model to the 3D ECOGENIE ecosystem model to study the global distribution and carbonate production of planktonic foraminifera in present and future climate conditions. My PhD results provide important information and new insight on planktonic foraminifera ecology and physiology. My PhD is part of the “PALEOGENiE” research project, funded by European Research Council (ERC-2013-CoG617313) and  Dr. Fanny Monteiro, Prof. Daniela Schmidt (School of Earth Sciences), Prof. Andy Ridgwell (UoB and University of Riverside, California) are my supervisors.