Josep M. Gasol

am a Research Professor here, interested in planktonic microbe abundance and activity, and their ecosystem effects. This implies the study of the factors that regulate the abundance of planktonic microorganisms and those that regulate microorganism community structure (size, functional and taxonomical structure), and how the physical changes in the marine environment affect these parameters. As an example, how predation and resource availability regulate bacterial abundances, bacterial use of DOC, and how they regulate the composition of the microbial “black box” in terms of size structure, metabolic characteristics of the community, phylogenetic composition, and genomic content. This is approached by empirical analysis of data bases of organism abundance, growth and loss rates, generated mainly in cruises; by mesocosm and microcosm experiments; and by the combined use of image analysis and flow cytometry and metabolic fluorescent probes. Lately, I have also been interested in the functional aspects of diversity: how diversity and ecosystem functioning are linked, what is the functional relevance of functional gene diversity, etc.

I did my PhD at the UAB working on the microbes of one of the most interesting lakes in the world, Lake Cisó. I was then a postdoc at McGill University in Montreal where instead of focussing on one lake I tried to broaden to generalities about microbial community structure in as many lakes as possible. Of course, the next step had to be to work in the Ocean, the “great vast lake”…While my main workplace is the ocean, with special interest in the Microbial Observatory of Blanes Bay, where I coordinate the long term research, I always enjoy working in lakes and any other water bodies, as long as they are nice (and not yet spoiled by humans!).

Other than these mundane things, I like mountains, wildlife, photography, guitar playing and singing, particularly folk music, and I enjoy doing all these things with my kids!