Congratulations to Leone Yisrael, who recently received a NOAA Sea Grant Fellowship to support her work in Chesapeake Bay! Her work looks at whether microenvironments associated with macroinvertebrates can serve as habitats for microorganisms that affect the cycling of oxygen, nitrogen, and sulfur within the Bay.
Recent work led by Prof. Sarah Preheim in the department of Environmental Health and Engineering and Leone’s co-advisor Prof. Anand Gnanadesikan recently discovered that a significant fraction of key metabolic genes within the bay are associated with microorganisms as previously identified as endosymbionts living in a mutually beneficial relationship in the guts or gills of invertebrates.
This work, co-advised by Dr. Katrina Lohan at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater. MD will examine the “holobionts” of squid, oysters and crabs within the Bay and relate it to the microbiota of the water column. The hope is that this will drive a better understanding of how these organisms shape their environment and of whether and how they need to be represented in computational models of the Bay.