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:

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.

Nicholas Schulte

Doctoral Candidate

University of Colorado

As a Master’s student in Dr. Evelyn Gaiser’s lab at Florida International University I am investigating the dynamics of benthic microbial communities in the Florida Everglades. My research will determine the causes for losses of structural integrity of microbial mats upon phosphorus enrichment as well as resultant metabolic and algal compositional changes. I am broadly interested in algae community ecology, life histories, and systematics and focus on research that ties algal ontogeny and evolutionary history to algal population, community, and ecosystem dynamics. Resolving algal life histories and taxonomy will augment more a holistic understanding of the roles algae play in ecosystems and more accurate applications of algae to ecological monitoring, and I am eager to contribute to these fields.

Annika Vilmi

Researcher, PhD

Freshwater Centre
Finnish Environment Institute SYKE

I am a geographer and ecologist who studies various aspects of freshwater ecology and biodiversity. Although I study distinct organismal groups, diatoms are definitely closest to my heart. I have been working with diatoms since 2011 and gained a good knowledge on Finnish stream and lake diatom taxa. Part of my job is to participate in improving biological monitoring and assessment methods, mainly regarding diatoms. In addition to macroecological study topics, I am interested in how diatoms respond to anthropogenic stressors through changes in community structures, morphological features and cell contents.

Sylvia Lee

Since discovering diatoms while conducting an undergraduate research project, diatoms and the diatom research community have been important to my career. Currently, I work at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Research and Development providing scientific support related to biological assessments and nutrient criteria. I am working to re-establish scientific confidence in diatoms as powerful indicators by improving taxonomic consistency and serving as Chair of the Diatom Taxonomic Certification Committee. I also co-instruct the Ecology and Systematics of Diatoms course at Iowa Lakeside Laboratory.

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.