Cessna Pamela Orta Ponce


CICESE, Mexico
21 Nov 2019 to 13 Dec 2019

Research subject:

Microbial diversity and activity


Dr. Marta M. Varela-Rozados

Short cv:

I’m an oceanographer graduated from the Autonomous University of Baja California, Ensenada, Mexico. During my bachelor’s, I became involved with the marine ecology research group at the Oceanographic Research Institute (IIO)/Autonomous University of Baja California, at early steps of my career. Before focusing on the ecological role of tiny bacteria, at the beginning of my professional training, I focused my attention on the ecology of fish populations that live in kelp forests to find alterations in the abundance of particular fish species populations according to the ecological state of the forest forest where they are found. With the supervision of Dr. Gabriela Montaño, I received a marine ecology monitoring course for training in data collection and laboratory work. This project allowed me to participate in several cruises for data collection and allowed me to gain experience in field data collection, data processing, laboratory training and interpretation of results.

In 2018 I completed my master’s degree in marine biology from the University of A Coruña, in A Coruña, Spain and with collaboration of the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO), A Coruña, Spain through the close supervision of Dr. Marta Varela from the Planktonic and Biogeochemical Ecology research group of the IEO. I graduated with a master's thesis focused on bacterial production and its relationship with bacterial diversity and dissolved organic matter throughout the water column. In this study we estimated empirical conversion factors to evaluate the behavior of bacterial production through the water column using a non-theoretical approach. Instead of using the wellstablished theoretical conversion factor, we use our empirical conversion factors, hoping to avoid and/or reduce the error that could appear when using a single theoretical value for bodies of water with obviously different conditions and, therefore, different bacterial community composition. For this, we include in our study the analysis of the entire water column, from shallow waters to deep waters (up to 4000 m deep), being to our knowledge the first investigation that includes empirical leucine-to-carbon conversion factors in deep waters.

The training I’ll receive during the cruises and at the host institute thanks to this fellowship will allow me to have the opportunity to, firstly, gain hands-on experience in water sampling for bacteria analyses, and organic matter analyses of a time series, as well as, to prepare myself with a solid background and experience in order to start my doctorate program with base on bacterial diversity and its relationship with dissolved organic matter next year.