Sydney Plummer has been awarded an NSF graduate fellowship to investigate the ecophysiological roles of phytoplankton-derived reactive oxygen species.
Sydney is a Ph.D. student through the Integrated Life Sciences program at the University of Georgia. She is currently working in Julia Diaz’s lab. Her project involves studying superoxide production by phytoplankton in the presence of grazing predator species. Her hobbies include reading, camping, and going on adventures.
The fellowship of the National Science Foundation will allow her to advance the current understanding of factors that underlie the structure and productivity of marine microbial communities, coupled biogeochemical cycles of carbon, nutrients, and metals, and thereby provide implications for marine ecosystem health and climate.
Julia Diaz, her doctoral advisor, says “Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are typically considered toxic chemicals that are harmful to life. I am excited that Sydney’s PhD research will challenge this paradigm by investigating the possible beneficial roles of ROS in phytoplankton, such as growth promotion and defense against zooplankton grazers.”