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First name:Melissa
Last name:Duhaime
Country:United States
Thesis Subject:
Marine Phage Genomics
Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology
International Max Planck Research School of Marine Microbiology (Marmic)

M.Sc. March 2007
Ph.D. expected 2009
Cornell University
B.A. in Biological Sciences
Summer 2005
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
Guest Student Fellow
Dr. Stefan Sievert, Dr. Stace Beaulieu, Dr. Tim Shank

Analysis of Tica Vent microbial mat diversity on the East Pacific Rise using DGGE.
Summer 2004
Max Planck Institute - Bremen
Summer student
Dr. Nicole Dubilier, Dr. Frank Oliver Glöckner

Metabolic characterization of Olavius algarvensis 5-symbiont consortia. Annotation of symbiont BAC libraries.
Summer 2003
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Summer intern
Dr. Robert Vrijenhoek, Dr. Joe Jones

Symbiont diversity of cold seep and hydrothermal vent vestimentifera; 16S and Rubisco phylogenetics. Cruise to whale-fall for "Green snot worm."
Scientific Interests and Goals:
Viruses are the most abundant biological entity and largest source of genetic material on the planet; marine environments contain on average 10^7 bacteriophage per liter of seawater. I will take two approaches to study marine phages:

GENOMICS: Novel approaches are needed to grasp the impact of viruses on the reservoir of genes directing the central metabolism of the world's oceans. The potential for marine viruses to act as "gene shuttles" between species is well known. Their impact on the gene pool of marine microbes has not been extensively studied. The 20 marine phage genomes and 7+ metagenomes contain tremendous unidentifiable diversity; this is the biggest obstacle in phage genomics. My goal is to develop a structure sequence environment to finally mine available marine virus datasets to ask intriguing biological questions.

POPULATION DYNAMICS: Virioplankton communities play a central role in the dynamics of marine food webs. They are major predators of bacterioplankton and significant sinks of essential nutrients, thus impacting global nutrient cycling. Neither the community composition and spatial distribution of specific virus communities, nor the link between virus-induced diversity and ecosystem functioning are well known. I plan to use both community fingerprinting methods, as well as virus "group specific markers" to qualitatively and quantitatively assess changes in virus populations through time at Helogland (North Sea).
Selected Publications:
Richter M, Lombardot T, Kostadinov I, Kottmann R, Duhaime MB, Peplies J, Glockner FO. JCoast - A biologist-centric software tool for data mining and comparison of prokaryotic (meta)genomes. BMC Bioinformatics. 2008 Apr; 9:177.

Vrijenhoek RC, Duhaime M, Jones WJ. Subtype variation among bacterial endosymbionts of tubeworms (Annelida: Siboglinidae) from the Gulf of California.
Biol Bull. 2007 Jun; 212(3):180-4.