Vasiliki Papazachariou

Vasiliki Papazachariou


''Beauty is invisible to the naked eye'', just like microbes in marine ecosystems!

I am a marine ecologist with a research focus on microbial ecology and marine nitrogen cycle. I am fascinated by the fact that microbes have evolved their own mechanisms to survive in changing environments, and their ability to hijack or sustain a whole ecosystem’s balance! Biological nitrogen fixation is one of the most important biochemical processes in marine ecosystems. Up til recently it was believed that nitrogen fixation was exclusively occuring on oligotrophic and tropical/subtropical environments, however, recent studies report activity also on temperate waters, and this is what i am trying to understand and explore throughout my PhD research.


In my PhD i am researching biological nitrogen fixation on temperate Danish coastal ecosystems with a dual scope, one on pelagic waters and one on seagrass meadows that are dominating Danish benthos. I investigate the magnitude of biological nitrogen fixation using stable isotope techniques and the key-microbial players involved in the process with molecular approaches. Also I am interested in the environmental parameters that shape the microbial community structure as well as their fixation activity.


An understanding of the magnitude and control of future N2 fixation is important because only by understanding N2 fixation can we design a sustainable management strategy preventing eutrophication for Danish coastal waters especially now with climate change predicted to stimulate future N2 fixation.


Further I am interested in marine viral ecology and how viral infections shape marine microbial communities, marine conservation, multi-disciplinary approaches, socio-ecology input, science communication (including arts and science interaction) and public awareness.


You are more than welcome to reach out if you are interested in my research.

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