Nastassia V. Patin, Ph.D.
I am a marine microbial ecologist and bioinformatician studying how microbial communities in the ocean relate to their environment and to other organisms. These communities, or "microbiomes," are made up of Bacteria and Archaea as well as protists, fungi, and viruses. The vast majority of these microorganisms have not been cultured in a laboratory and must be studied through DNA sequencing. I specialize in sequencing environmental DNA ("eDNA") of microbiomes and using computer science and statistics to analyze the sequence data to understand what microbes are doing in their native habitat. My work has taken me to the Bahamas, Belize, Fiji, French Polynesia, the coastal mid-Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico, Antarctica, and most recently, to the coast of California. In my current position with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (University of Miami) I study microbiomes in the California Current and how they correlate with and respond to large environmental perturbations like upwelling and warm-water anomalies. I am also 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 environmental health and resilience in the context of a changing climate.
Field work aboard the French schooner Tara in the Southern Ocean, February 2022.