SIMPLE - Singapore Marine Planktonic Eukaryotes (MOE AcRF Tier 1)

  • Funding: Ministry of Education - Academic Research Fund (AcRF) Tier 1 – Singapore
  • Role: Principal Investigator
  • Period: 2019-2023

Coastal waters provide numerous services that benefit humans including aquaculture, fisheries, power generation, water supply and diverse cultural and recreational services. A great challenge is to maintain these services without affecting the biodiversity and ecosystem processes that underpin their sustainability. Biodiversity monitoring allows to assess environmental impact of anthropogenic activities. Planktonic communities are the pillar of all aquatic ecosystems and therefore are the backbone of environmental monitoring programs. Marine unicellular eukaryotes, also called protists, are part of planktonic communities and have long been used in biomonitoring programs. Despite the pressure of an ever-growing human population in the coastal (and oceanic) waters of South East Asia, the planktonic protists communities and their dynamics remains largelyunknown in tropical and equatorial coastal waters. Through a combination of well-established methodologies, we propose to unveil the composition of planktonic protist communities in Singapore coastal waters and to assess the factors that control these communities at spatial and temporal scales. The knowledge provided by this project will serve as foundation for future monitoring programs that aim to include protist communities as biological indicators to assess the ecological quality status of Singapore coastal waters. It will also contribute to enrich and complement the scarce information on the dynamics of tropical protist communities under monsoon regimes.

Adriana Lopes dos Santos
Adriana Lopes dos Santos
Assistant Professor