Mick Follows

© G.Bounaud/Tara Expéditions

Tara Oceans

Department of Earth, Atmosphere and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

We use theory and numerical models to understand and simulate the organization of marine phytoplankton populations in the global open ocean. We seek to understand how the physical, chemical and predatory environment shapes the diversity and functionality of the plankton communities, and how the organisms feed back on their environment. Our global simulations helped to motivate targeted observations during the TARA OCEANS sampling expedition. We will further develop and use these models to interpret and simulate the basin and global-scale patterns observed in the samples.

Relevant publications

  1. Dutkiewicz, S., B. A. Ward, F. Monteiro, and M. J. Follows (2012), Interconnection of nitrogen fixers and iron in the Pacific Ocean: Theory and numerical simulations, Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 26, GB1012, DOI:10.1029/2011GB004039.
  2. Ward, B., S. Dutkiewicz, A.D. Barton and M.J. Follows (2011) Biophysical aspects of mixotrophic resource acquisition and competition. The American Naturalist, 178(1), 98-112.
  3. Saito, M.A., E.M. Bertrand, S. Dutkiewicz, V.V. Bulygin, D.M. Moran, F.M. Monteiro, M.J. Follows, F.W. Valois, J.B. Waterbury (2011) Iron Conservation by Reduction of Metalloenzyme Inventories in the Marine Diazotroph Crocosphaera watsonii. PNAS, DOI 10.1073/pnas.1006943108.
  4. Barton, A.D, S. Dutkiewicz, J. Bragg, G. Flierl and M.J. Follows (2010) Patterns of marine phytoplankton diversity. Science, 327, 1509-1511, DOI: 10.1126/science.1184961.
  5. Follows, M.J., S. Dutkiewicz, S. Grant and S.W. Chisholm (2007) Emergent biogeography of microbial communities in a model ocean. Science, 315, 1843-1846, DOI: 10.1126/science.1138544.