02 Dec 2021

Seminar Title: Transient niches shape bacterial microdiversity in pelagic habitats
Speaker: Dr. Haiwei Luo, Associate Professor, School of Life Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Date: 2 December 2021 (Thursday)
Time: 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Venue: Room 6602 (Lift 31 – 32)
Meeting link: https://hkust.zoom.us/s/98076882679
(*The seminar will be recorded for internal reference.)
Zoom Meeting ID: 980 7688 2679
Passcode: 365945

Abstract:
While seawater seems to be a well-mixed and diluted matrix, growing evidence has shown that nutrients are not homogeneously distributed at the scale relevant to microbial activities. Ecological processes such as algal secretion, sloppy feeding and viral lysis create transient microscale hotspots, harboring nutrient concentrations up to several orders of magnitude higher than bulk seawater. In this talk, I use a few examples to illustrate the transient niches, created by macroalgae and phytoplankton, act as important drivers of heterotrophic marine bacterial evolution. The main approach I take is population genomics. By comparing genomes varying at the strain level, I discuss how bacterial microdiversity is impacted by recent selective pressures and hints at the fine-scale ecological processes in a heterogeneous ocean.

Biography:
Haiwei Luo is an Associate Professor in the School of Life Sciences at CUHK. He received his B.Sc. in environmental science in 2004 at Xiamen University, and his Ph.D. in molecular evolution in 2010 at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC. During 2010-2014, he did postdoctoral work with Mary Ann Moran at the University of Georgia, Athens, GA. He started his own lab at CUHK as an Assistant Professor (2015-2020) and an Associate Professor (2021-present). He uses population genomics and evolutionary genetics to study marine bacterial genomic diversity and adaptive mechanisms.

All Are Welcome!