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Dr Karen Tait

Dr Karen Tait

Microbial Ecologist

ktait7/21/2024 1:41:13    |     +44 (0)1752 633100 (switchboard)
"The next big step in for microbial ecology is to work out what this huge diversity of microbes within the marine environment are actually doing. At PML, I am embedded within a network of biogeochemists, physical oceanographers and ecosystem modellers to aid me untangling these mysteries."

Following on from a PhD in biofilm ecology at Edinburgh University, Karen Tait embarked on her first post doc at PML. In ground-breaking research, Karen was able to demonstrate a link between the settlement of the reproductive stages of both the green seaweed Ulva and the acorn barnacle Balanus improvises and signal molecules produced by bacterial biofilms. Twenty years on, Karen continues to study the complex interactions within marine and occasionally freshwater ecosystems, and uses molecular biology tools (qPCR, next generation sequencing, bioinformatics) to untangle the links between microbial community structure and diversity and biogeochemical cycling within temperate and polar coastal and shelf sea ecosystems This includes study of the interactions between bioturbating macrofauna, microbially-driven nutrient cycling and nutrient regeneration.  

  • BIO-PLASTIC-RISK: Biodegradable plastics - assessing environmental risk; NERC (2021 – 2025)
  • MARINe-DNA: Development and application of eDNA tools to assess the structure and function of coastal sea ecosystems; NERC (2016 – 2020).
  • Shelf Sea Biogeochemistry: Biogeochemistry, macronutrient and carbon cycling in the benthic layer; NERC (2013 – 2017).

Recent publications

View more publications on our repository