EOAS Member Directory
Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources
Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology
Work in Dr. Bhattacharya’s lab relevant to EOAS goals addresses a key aspect of ocean science: the origin and evolution of phytoplankton. He and his lab group use a variety of techniques ranging from algal culture and physiology, standard and single cell genomics, and functional genomics to study topics such as how algae gained and orchestrate the functions of their photosynthetic organelle, the plastid. The group also studies the capacity of algae to adapt to changing environmental conditions, for example how the green alga Picochlorum can grow nearly equally well in freshwater as in medium containing 1.6M NaCL. These latter taxa are targets for biofuel and other applied uses. They have also worked with collaborators at Rutgers to elucidate the origins of redox enzymes in deep time and to provide a framework for understanding how energy was transduced in the first cells.
As the leader of the SEBS Genome Cooperative, Debashish has been the PI or has collaborated on a wide variety of projects that address topics in marine genomics. These include funded as well as pending projects on coral genomics, development, and biomineralization (with Paul Falkowski), haptophyte biodiversity and algal-virus interactions (with Kay Bidle), and ice metagenomics (with John Reinfelder). Future training efforts will focus on building a PhD program in genetic information transfer in the ocean with DMCS (and other) colleagues, and in developing bioinformatics training at the SEBS campus so that Rutgers can lead in this area of genome-enabled marine science.