Sergei Danchenko

What is the aim of your PhD Research? My main goal is to test innovative tools (genomics, chemotaxonomy), to assess and monitor the biodiversity of phytoplankton communities of the upwelling system (SW coast of Iberian Peninsula). This research will contribute to biodiversity-based indicators used for GES and ecosystem monitoring.
What is the most appealing part of your PhD? The most appealing part is using innovative techniques to effectively monitor phytoplankton and correctly interpret the results to assess such a complex descriptor as biodiversity. I look forward to learning new techniques like flow cytometry and genomics.
How will your thesis contribute to DEVOTES project? My work will contribute to the integrative assessment of the biodiversity component of upwelling ecosystems in connection with WP5 innovative monitoring techniques (incl. genomics, remote sensing, CHEMTAX), as well as providing data for indicator testing and development.
What do you consider your most important accomplishment here so far?  I have just started but we have obtained data used for comparison of traditional method of microscope counts of small sized phytoplankton classes with modern chemotaxonomical approach, which has not been done before in the study area. Analysis of the long-term data series on dinoflagellates’ diversity is ongoing.
What has been your most exciting experience in the project so far?  Fieldwork in the open sea or intertidal flats. Teamwork when a knowledgeable advice from a colleague solves a problem with identification or analysis of the data.
What other important information about yourself would you like us to know? My academic background is in geo-ecology and I have a Master in water and coastal management. Previously I worked on different topics incl. protected areas management, water quality and shorebirds