Nastassia V. Patin, Ph.D.
I am a marine microbial ecologist studying how microbes in the ocean interact with each other and with their environment. Microbes (bacteria and archaea) are a vital component of every biome on Earth; their communities ("microbiomes") are extremely diverse and we have only recently begun to understand how they shape ecosystems through nutrient cycling and chemical interactions. My doctoral work at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (University of California, San Diego) focused on the ecology of marine sediment bacteria that naturally produce bioactive compounds like antibiotics. My thesis work got me interested in the bigger picture of microbiome structure and function, and in my first postdoc at the Georgia Institute of Technology I used large DNA and RNA sequence data sets to understand microbial genetic potential and biochemical activity. In my current position with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (University of Miami) I am developing sampling and analysis work flows for large-scale studies of marine microbiomes. Understanding what microbes are doing in the ocean has broad implications for processes like nutrient cycling, antibiotic resistance, and environmental health and resilience in the context of a changing climate.
Field work in the Bahamas, 2013.