Deepa Rao

Deepa Rao Graduate Student drao@mit.edu 508 289 1111 54-1519
Education
M.A. in Communication, Culture, and Technology from Georgetown University, S.B. in Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences from MIT
Bio and Interests
I am a microbial oceanographer and modeler currently working as a PhD student in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program with Professor Follows. My research aims at improving our understanding of non-trophic interactions and their role in structuring phytoplankton communities. In particular, I am intersted in exchange of essential organic resources among marine microbes. I am focusing on resource exchanges between phytoplankton and bacterioplankton, specifically on the curious case of vitamin B12. Although most eukaryotic phytoplankton require vitamin B12, only bacterioplankton (bacteria and archaea) can synthesize the compound, indicating an interdependence in the microbial community for these essential resources. I am very interested in incorporating mechanistic models of non-trophic interactions into model food webs that also contain resource competition and trophic interactions. Marine microbes have multifarious lifestyles, and their behaviors have consequences for global biogeochemical cycling.
Affiliated Faculty