The third edition of the Microscale Ocean Biophysics meeting in Aspen, Colorado, was a success! 90 scientists from different disciplines presented, discussed, and interacted for a week amidst winter activities. Congratulations to Kwangmin Son for receiving one of three best talk awards and to Steve (in close collaboration with Vicente) for receiving one of two best postdoc poster awards!
Postdoc Mehdi Salek’s poster “The mTm: A Microfluidic T-Maze for the Study of Chemotactic Decision Making in Microorganisms” was recently awarded 3rd place at the ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition in Montreal. Great job Mehdi!
Postdoc Anupam Sengupta wins the 2014 Glenn H. Brown Prize for pioneering contributions in the field of liquid crystals, specifically for his studies of liquid crystals in microfluidic environments. The prize is awarded every two years by the International Liquid Crystal Society. Anupam will deliver the award speech at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, in July 2014. Congratulations Anupam!
Competition-dispersal tradeoff ecologically differentiates recently speciated marine bacterioplankton populations
New PNAS paper by the group demonstrates the importance of movement behavior in driving the differentiation of marine microbes.
Postdoc Anupam Sengupta has been awarded a 3-year fellowship from the Human Frontiers in Science Program (HFSP).
A new paper on the interplay between bacterial motility and fluid flow, with postdoc Roberto Rusconi as first author, just appeared in Nature Physics. Well done Roberto!
A photograph taken by postdocs Vicente Fernandez and Orr Shapiro, illustrating the fascinating vortical flows that form on coral surfaces, won the NSF/AAAS Science and Technology Visualization Challenge and was featured on the cover of Science on Feb 7, 2014.
Douglas attended the “Active Fluids: Bridging Complex Fluids and Biofluids” conference held at the Aspen Center for Physics, where he received the Block Award that is given to a promising young physicist. Well done, Douglas!
Gabe attended the Active Fluids: Bridging Complex Fluids and Biofluids where he gave a talk entitled “Life at the oil water interface: growth, colonization, and degradation of oil by microbes”.
Article entitled “Turbulent Fluid Acceleration Generates Clusters of Gyrotactic Microorganisms” appeared in Physical Review Letters in the week ending January 31, 2014.
Hongchul Jang has successfully defended his thesis with a great presentation on bacterial biofilms! Hongchul is heading back to Korea, where he will be working for Samsung. Hongchul, we wish you and your family a happy move back home and good luck with the new start in Seoul!
Vicente recently participated as a Poster Presenter at the Gordon Research Seminars and the Gordon Research Conferences on Sensory Transduction in Microorganisms. Title of his presented poster was: Probing transient chemotactic responses in free-swimming bacterial populations.
Michael Barry has successfully defended his thesis with a very compelling presentation on phytoplankton motility! Mike will be working at Exponent in Massachusetts. Mike, we wish you all the best for your new responsibilities as an engineering consultant, and thanks for all the great contributions to the lab!
Welcome, Cherry! Cherry is a student in Biological Engineering, she is passionate about the environment (ask her about turtles!), and will look at genetically manipulating marine bacteria for optical reporting of DMSP degradation in a new generation of microfluidic devices.
Welcome on board, Anupam! Anupam is a mechanical engineer and physicist from India, he did his engineering degree at IIT Bombay, Ph.D. at the Max Planck Institute in Germany, and will be working on phytoplankton adaptations to physical cues, ordering and turbulence in in bacterial systems and will develop new microfluidic technology.
A paper by the group, with postdoc Melissa Garren leading the charge, appeared in ISME Journal. The paper describes how coral pathogens can actively target coral hosts by chemotaxis, particularly for temperature-stressed hosts. We thank our collaborators from AIMS (Australia) and UTS (Sydney) for the joint work!
Douglas is an applied mathematician from Australia, recently turned biophysicist! He did his Ph.D. at Cambridge University, and will be working on visualizing the flows generated by corals and how bacterial pathogens cope with the stormy environment on a coral surface. Welcome to MIT, Douglas!
Welcome, Kang! Kang is a mechanical engineer from Korea, he did his Ph.D. at Korea Advance Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). He will be working on a new collaboration with Prof. Michael Wagner’s group at the University of Vienna on marrying microfluidics and Raman microscopy for cell sorting, as part of a U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute’s New Emerging Technologies Opportunity Grant.
Who said that turbulence always mixes? Check out this paper showing that motility in turbulence can lead to un-mixing. Life looks pretty turbulent out there in the oceans! Congratulations to Mack Durham (former PhD student and now lecturer in Oxford) and Mike Barry, and to our collaborators in France and Italy.
Kwangmin and Jeff’s paper in Nature Physics shows that marine bacteria reorient by causing the buckling of their flagellum. Pretty resourceful bugs out there in the Ocean!
Starting in August, we’ll have Rebecca Schilling taking good care of our lab: We’re thrilled by this new addition to the group!
Postdoc Gabriel Juarez wins first prize (and an iPad!) in MIT’s postdoc poster competition with an elegant, minimalistic poster on how marine bacteria find oil droplets. Gabe’s research aims to understand the biophysics of oil degradation.
Postdoc Filippo Menolascina will give a talk next Wednesday April, 17th on “What High School science should have been” in an event organized by the MIT Museum for the Cambridge Science Festival 2013.
Kick off time: 6pm. More info here. Go Filippo!
Postdoc Melissa Garren wins the award for the best talk by a junior scientist at the second edition of the symposium on “Microscale Interactions in Aquatic Microenvironments”, held at the École de Physique des Houches, France. Melissa talked about the role of motility and chemotaxis in a coral pathogen.Congratulations Melissa!
Gastón is a physicist from Argentina and will be working in collaboration with Mimi Koehl and Nicole King, from the University of California Berkeley, on the role of motility and nutrient uptake in the evolution of multicellularity in choanoflagellats. Bienvenido Gastón!
A comprehensive review of bacterial chemotaxis in the ocean by Roman Stocker and Justin Seymour appears in Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews. Justin is a former postdoc in the group and now a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Technology Sydney. An image of bacteria clustering around a diatom, by group members Steve Smriga, Kwangmin Son, Vicente Fernandez and Roman Stocker, appears on the cover.
Roman Stocker is selected as a Marine Microbiology Initiative Investigator by the Moore Foundation. This award will considerably enhance the lab’s abilities to investigate microbial processes in the Ocean over the next 5 years. Read full announcement.
Roman answers NSF’s Jacqueline Conciatore’s questions on doing science, being inspired, and what to salvage if your lab goes up in flames.
Mack Durham delivers the Andreas Acrivos Dissertation Award lecture at the Division of Fluid Dynamics meeting in San Diego. This award recognizes “exceptional young scientists who have performed original doctoral thesis work of outstanding scientific quality and achievement in the area of fluid dynamics”. Mack’s thesis focused on “Phytoplankton in Flow” and he is now a lecturer at Oxford.
Seven from the Stocker group attends the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics meeting in San Diego, to present our work on bacterial motility and biophysical interactions among marine microbes.
“Oceans at MIT” features a story on the lab’s focus on the hidden life of marine microbes.
Roman’s review paper on microscale gradients appears in Science. The review, titled “Marine microbes see a sea of gradients”, highlights the importance of microscale processes in the ocean.
John Taylor and Roman Stocker’s paper on the effects of turbulence on marine bacteria appears in Science. The paper, titled “Trade-offs of chemotactic foraging in turbulent water”, describes how turbulence affects the competition for nutrients among marine bacteria. John is a former postdoc and now a lecturer at Cambridge University.
Jeff Guasto secures a tenure-track faculty position in Mechanical Engineering at Tufts University, starting Sept 2013. Most deserved, Jeff: we will miss you, but are very excited for you!
Steve Smriga is awarded a 2-year Postdoctoral Research Fellowship from the Division of Ocean Sciences at NSF. We look forward to some exciting work together, Steve!
Ph.D. student Bennett Lambert joins the lab. Ben is a Mechanical Engineer from Alaska and will be working on a collaboration with Rob Olson and Heidi Sosik at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to design a microfluidic sorter and integrate it with the Imaging FlowCytobot, an automated submersible flow cytometer. Welcome, Ben!
Prof. Yvan Lagadeuc from the University of Rennes, France, joins the lab for a one-year sabbatical, to work on luxury uptake in phytoplankton by integrating a new microfluidic approach and NanoSIMS imaging. Bienvenue Yvan!
Postdoc Melissa Garren wins the J.W. Costerton Award at ISME-14 in Copenhagen for “research that advances a new theory in microbial ecology that also has interdisciplinary significance”. Melissa’s poster was titled “The need for speed: A marine pathogen uses rapid chemotaxis and chemokinesis to target its host.” Well done, Melissa!
Postdoc Yutaka Yawata wins the Brock Postdoctoral Research Award at ISME-14 in Copenhagen for his talk “Mapping
genotypic diversity onto niche adaptation”. Omedetou, Yutaka!
Our new admin Ruth joins the group: welcome Ruth and we all look forward to working with you!
Postdoc Orr Shapiro wins a poster award at the Gordon Research Conference on Marine Microbes at Il Ciocco, Tuscany, for his poster “Reef on a chip: Studying coral-pathogen interactions at the microscale”. Mazel tov, Orr!
Roman gives an invited talk at the Gordon Research Conference on Marine Microbes on “Bacterial Behavior in a sea of gradients.”
Our admin Roberta leaves us … grazie Roberta for all your help and buona fortuna for your new life in Italy!
It’s been an exciting journey!!
Gabriel Juarez joins the lab as a postdoc. Gabe is from Texas and studied physics. He will be working on bacteria-oil interactions.
The Stocker lab gets a new home! We have moved and here is our new lab. We’re excited about this new space!
Our paper on swimming in stratified fluids appears in PNAS. Roman collaborated with the group of Arezoo Ardekani, a former postdoc and now faculty at Notre Dame University.
Our paper on bacterial rheotaxis appears in PNAS. We show that hydrodynamic shear produced an unexpected torque on bacteria, making them drift across the flow due to the chirality of their flagella. This work was led by former Ph.D. student Marcos, now a faculty at NTU in Singapore, in collaboration with Henry Fu and Thomas Powers.
Roman co-organizes the department’s research speed-dating event, the second episode of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering lightning-talks aimed at fostering research cross-fertilization. This year with jazz band!