The “Diatom of the Month” project is a monthly series of blog posts on diatoms, precious primary producers, and invaluable indicators of environmental change at different spatial and temporal scales.

The project will:

  1. create a channel of simplified and rapid communication among taxonomists, biologists, and ecologists about new discoveries.
  2. raise awareness about the importance of diatoms among a broad audience, including students of different disciplines, policy makers, and the general public.

The series began in November 2015 by Dr. Luca Marazzi, Postdoctoral Associate in Evelyn Gaiser’s lab at Florida International University, as part of the outreach initiative of the Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research (FCE LTER) program. It was initially hosted on the FCE LTER “Wading through research” graduate student blog.

Ideally, articles and features will appeal to a broad audience, including people who do not know what a diatom might be. Each post should be in the range of ~500-800 words, contain a pictures or figures, and contain references to sources and for further additional information.

Send contributions and ideas that fulfill the aims above to a member of the DOM Editorial Committee:

Hirak Parikh

DoM leader - Doctoral Candidate

PhD Researcher
ISU Paleolimnology Lab

I am a Ph.D. student in Dr. Jeffrey Stone's lab at Indiana State University, where my research focuses on studying the phenotypic and genotypic diversification of Diploneis and Afrocymbella in East African Lakes. By investigating the evolutionary process driving their adaptation and speciation, I aim to uncover insights into the regional ecological history and contribute to our understanding of diatom evolution. I am engaged in research that covers diatom phylogeny, taxonomy, paleolimnology, paleoecology, and biomonitoring. I have explored the effects of crude oil spills and chemical variables on diatom assemblages. I've studied diatom assemblages in semiarid lakes with different anthropogenic disturbances, providing insights into their implications for water quality.

Rafał M. Olszyński


University of Lodz, Department of Algology and Mycology
Banacha 12/16 St.
90-237 Lodz, Poland

I'm an assistant professor in the Department of Algology and Mycology at the University of Lodz. My research focuses on the taxonomy and ecology of benthic diatoms in post-mining reservoirs. I'm studying how the unique environmental conditions prevailing in these types of ecosystems affect diatom communities.

Recently I've been working with the diatom culturing and phylogeny of some Bacillariaceae species.

Paula Mendoza

Diatom of the Month collaborator and Young ISDR Team

IRTA-Institute for Food and Agricultural Research and Technology,
Marine and Continental Waters Programme,
Ctra de Poble Nou Km 5.5,
E43540 Sant Carles de la Ràpita,

I am a biologist and environmental scientist interested in the taxonomy and ecology of diatoms and how the climate change affects their biodiversity. Furthermore, I am also interested in the use of these organisms as bioindicators. Currently, I am doing a PhD at IRTA’s Marine and Continental Waters Programme. I will be studying and analysing diatom samples from different environments in the Canary Islands in order to know which diatom diversity is found in islands. Before the PhD, during my master’s thesis, I was working also with diatoms trying to understand how drought affect them and which diversity is found in Mediterranean rivers.

Xavier Benito

Postdoctoral fellow

Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology (IRTA)

My research interests lie at the interface of limnology, palaeoecology and biogeography on questions related to how dynamics between biotic communities and their physical environment evolve through time. I'm fascinated in using diatoms to answer these questions, because of their widespread geographical distributions, long temporal range, and sensitivity to natural and anthropogenic stressors. As a biologist and environmental scientist by training, I'm also motivated by fundamental and applied questions of socio-ecological systems. I’m deeply interested in fostering open data and team science to catalyze collaborations for tackling complex (paleo)ecological questions.

Luca Marazzi

I am an environmental scientist and a freshwater ecologist. My interest in diatoms started during my Ph.D. at the Environmental Change Research Centre at University College London and deepened during my postdoctoral appointment in Dr. Evelyn Gaiser's laboratory at Florida International University. In the last ten years my research focused on patterns and drivers of algal species diversity and distribution in the Okavango Delta and the Everglades as well as on wetland conservation and restoration. I have recently started to work in the Plastic Rivers programme at Earthwatch Europe.