Dr Natrah's Attachment at Scripps Institution of Oceanography: Week 2

22 APRIL 2014
Week 2: 14 – 18 April 2014
Attachment in the lab of Marine Microbial Ecology under Prof. Dr Farooq Azam
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego, United States Of America
This week’s research dealt with fundamental understanding of microbial interactions in the ocean. This includes research on:
1) the role of different microorganisms in the biogeochemical cycle of carbon,
2) nutrient cycling of vitamin B1 and nitrogen by microbes in the euphotic zone,
3) the role of microbes on the regulation of dissolved organic matter,
4) understanding the microhabitat of coral-associated microorganisms including symbosis of algae and bacteria,
5) interaction between commercial nanomaterial and marine bacteria and,
6) bacterial vesicle production in the marine environment.
Investigation in microbial interactions and their ecology would assist me in fundamentally understanding their roles and potential applications in aquaculture. Aquaculture can be defined as the culture of aquatic organisms (finfish, shellfish, aquatic plants) in semi-controlled or controlled conditions. Microbes play an important part in aquaculture whether for the health improvement of the cultured organism or providing a healthy habitat/ environment for them to grow. Such understanding would assist in better microbial management towards a sustainable aquaculture system.
Prof Azam uses a number of techniques in his lab to study microbial ecology including molecular tools, chromatographic techniques and dissolved/ particulate organic carbon measurement. The most frequent techniques used in the lab are the different microscopical techniques to enumerate and study the community structure in the environment.
In the next report, I will describe the different microscopes used to study microbial ecology. Stay tuned!


Dr Edison Lee Tian Khoon
Dr Edison headed to Sweden’s Uppsala University, where he joined the Department of Chemistry, Ångström Laboratory, as part of his attachment stint. He is currently carrying out active research in polymer electrolyte and nanomaterials for Lithium-ion batteries. Read more about him here:
Innovating the Energy Ecosystem
Chrishen R. Gomez
Having attended the prestigious Ivy League Brown University as part of his attachment programme, 27-year-old Chrishen is now with the Wildlife Research and Conservation Unit at Oxford University. Chrishen is busy developing a genetic-based research project on the Sunda Clouded Leopard. Read more about him here: Conserving Our Forests & Future
Dr Zetty
Dr Zetty is currently working on anti-cancer compounds found in Malaysian seaweed and has continued to pursue her original project proposal of microalgae vaccine carriers for fish. A working solution has been patented by Dr Zetty and will be deployed within the coming year.
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