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Andres Gutierrez - University of Otago

Andres GutierrezAndres Gutierrez is a marine plankton ecologist with research interests biased towards microbial ecological processes, which represent the bulk of marine ecosystems metabolism. His research focusses on phytoplankton and bacterial community structure and functioning, and aims to understand how these interplay with physical and chemical processes to determine productivity and elemental cycling across coastal and open-ocean systems.

Andres is particularly interested in biological interactions in marine microbial food-webs (e.g. predation, mutualism), how these highly dynamic interactions respond to environmental variability. He has followed an experimental approach that combined laboratory and field work to assess phytoplankton/bacterial growth and grazing dynamics at population and community level, and the carbon fluxes associated to these rates. More recently he got interested in photosymbiotic interactions in the eukaryotic plankton (protist-microalgae), with a special focus on radiolarians and foraminiferas, and their contribution to carbon and sulphur cycling.