Storme de Scally, an MSc. student from the University of Pretoria Centre for Microbial Ecology and Genomics was recently awarded the Best MSc. Presentation at the 13th South African Society for Systematic Biology (SASSB) Conference.The theme of the conference was "Celebrating Southern African Biodiversity" and was hosted by the University of Pretoria at the National Botanical Gardens, Pretoria.
Storme's presentation, entitled "Elucidating the influence of ocean acidification on Southern Ocean microbial communities", was based on her current MSc. project.
"On acidification (OA), the decrease in seawater pH due to anthropocentric carbon dioxide, which may negatively impact key marine microbial communities and the ecosystem processes they mediate. We assessed the effects of experimentally induced OA on Southern Ocean microbial communities, using a mesocosm approach, as well as a combination of next generation sequencing and enzymatic assays. Our results show that OA negatively affects Southern Ocean microbial communities in terms of their community structure, putative interactions and functionality. " Storme de Scally