KATHERINA PETROU
Algal physiology in a changing world
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Heron Island, Australia.
Microscopy image of Antarctic diatom Eucampia antarctica
Acropora millepora and Stylophora pistillata, Heron Island.
On the ice, east Antarctica (2014, photo credit Stuart Shaw).
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A short introduction...
I am a senior lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) where I head the Marine Microphycology Laboratory. Coupling cell physiology, photobiology and biochemistry, my research investigates cellular processes, biochemical and biomolecular shifts in microalgae in response to environmental change and aims to link phenotypic traits and responses with ecology and ecosystem resilience. Another key focus is the role of biogenic sulphur in microalgal stress physiology and its influence on marine social networks. My research spans a broad range of organisms (phytoplankton, corals, foraminifera) and habitats (coral reefs, temperate coastal waters, Antarctic waters, sea ice), and covers a range of spatial scales from sub-cellular to ecosystems.

In the Marine Microphycology Lab our research aims to answer how diatoms will respond to a high CO2 ocean, how microalgal nutritional value is influenced by environmental change and how biogenic sulphur compounds influence microalgal physiology and lower trophic interactions in the marine environment. Currently, the lab consists of three PhD students and one Honours student.