Staff – Department of Biology - University of Copenhagen

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Mar Benavides

Mar Benavides

Postdoc

Dinitrogen (N2) fixation provides usable nitrogenous resources primary producers in marine ecosystems. Cyanobacteria were long thought to be the main N2-fixing organisms (diazotrophs) in marine waters, but new evidence confirms that non-cyanobacterial (bacteria and archaea) diazotrophs are also widespread and active. However, the contribution of non-cyanobacterial N2 fixation to global nitrogen inputs and what environmental factors control their abundance, distribution and activity are currently unknown.

My goal is to investigate the factors regulating N2 fixation rates and nitrogenase gene expression in indigenous and cultivated non-cyanobacterial diazotrophs by using a combination of advanced single-cell mass spectrometry approaches (nanoSIMS) and molecular biology methods (Real-Time PCR, high-throughput sequencing).

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