Ward Ryan

Home institution: Harvard University

Host institution: Ecole Normale Supérieure

Field of study: Biology

Fulbright project description:

Diatoms are perhaps the most important group of photosynthetic eukaryotes in the ocean, thought to be responsible for around 40% of the ocean’s net primary productivity. However, as today’s ocean is being subjected to acidification, pollution, deoxygenation, and warming, it is critical to understand how these ecological players will adapt. As a master’s student in the Bowler Lab at the École normale supérieure in Paris, I will analyze data collected from the Tara Oceans project and ancient sediment cores to study the genetic and epigenetic underpinnings of diatom adaptation. Greater understanding of diatom evolution will help predict how the ocean ecosystem will shift in response to climate change.

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