Albert Reñé

What is the aim of your PhD Research? The aim of my PhD is to study the diversity of dinoflagellates belonging to the order Gymnodiniales from the NW Mediterranean Sea combining morphological and molecular analyses.
What is the most appealing part of your PhD? The different studies carried out in the thesis have allowed reporting many species of unarmoured dinoflagellates for the first time in the Mediterranean Sea, including the detection and description of some species new to science.
How will your thesis contribute to DEVOTES project? The development of indicators to assess the environmental status of an ecosystem is based on the previous knowledge of the community structure. Consequently, the work of my thesis contributes into the knowledge of the diversity and distribution of a specific group of dinoflagellates, which were only partially known in the studied location.
What do you consider your most important accomplishment here so far?  We are providing a large number of new sequences of reliably identified dinoflagellates to the databases, which will help in the assignment and classification of sequences obtained from “environmental” sequencing, given the increasing use of molecular sequencing and barcoding of species.
What has been your most exciting experience in the project so far?  Apart from the conduction of the samplings, what is always a delightful activity; the most exciting experience has been the opportunity to learn new molecular techniques. I think that the development of high-throughput sequencing is generating a new era for the molecular taxonomy.
What other important information about yourself would you like us to know? I’m really excited about the results we expect to obtain from high-throughput sequencing because it will allow us to characterize the whole diversity of planktonic protists present in our shores. In addition, it will provide exhaustive information on the diversity of unarmoured dinoflagellates, which will complement the results obtained during my PhD.