Ph.D. Student, Department of Integrative Biology, The University of Texas at Austin
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. I’ve already started my one-way journey to the microscopic glassy islands where science and art are exhibited! The diatom world!!
My academic journey to the diatom world started with my master’s thesis in Prof. Dr. Diedrik Menzel’s lab, Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn (IZMB), where I conducted my research on “Frustule Morphogenesis of Cerataulina pelagica”. In order to investigate the duration of each cycle and visualize mitosis and frustule morphogenesis clearly, two varieties of the LysoSensor probes with different exposure times were examined consecutively. Confocal lasers-scanning microscopy, light microscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) results revealed a clear description of frustule morphology and developmental features of the studied species in greater detail as it is currently known. Also, to demonstrate the involvement of cytoskeletal elements in the positioning of the nucleus and nuclear movement, as a guideline for valves and girdle bands formation, drug-induced changes in microtubule and actin were assessed. Therefore, having a closer look at C. pelagica aroused my curiosity in going further to use a genomic approach besides morphological features to know about these organisms and the next chapter of my journey drove me all the way to Texas to pursue my Ph.D. in Prof. Edward Theriot’s lab at The University of Texas in Austin where my research involves using the genomic and phylogenetic insights for focusing on evolution and ecology of diatoms.
This research brought me to the Lakeside lab where I could be able to look deep into the nature and find my path, so I can “go forth and do great things”, as the late Dr. Gene Stoermer said.