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WN@tL: SHINING A LIGHT ON DARK OCEAN VIRUSES
September 25 @ 7:00 pm - 8:15 pm
Speaker: Karthik Anantharaman
Speaker Bio: Karthik Anantharaman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bacteriology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Sciences from the University of Michigan in 2014 studying the microbiology of deep-sea hydrothermal vents and conducted his postdoctoral research at the University of California-Berkeley studying biogeochemistry and microbial ecology. He is an expert in environmental microbiology and virology, high throughput ‘omics approaches to studying microbiomes, and biogeochemistry. His interdisciplinary research program focuses on understanding the cycling of sulfur and nutrients, with a strong emphasis on the microbial and viral processes that transform them in environmental and human systems. His current research uses a combination of cultivation-independent, cultivation-dependent, and field-based approaches to investigate the interplay between the microbiome, virome, and chemistry in hydrothermal plumes, oxygen minimum zones, and the deep oceans.
Description: Sulfur metabolism plays a critical role in the transformation of organic carbon compounds and nutrients in the environment, human health and disease. Our current knowledge of the ecology associated with this key element is primarily based on based studies of microorganisms that overlook viruses. In this presentation, I will describe the genomic, metabolic, and experimental analyses associated with viruses to implicate them in sulfur and amino acid metabolism and identify new processes that contribute to sulfur transformations in human and environmental systems. I will also demonstrate engineering challenges associated with sampling viruses, especially under pressure in the deep-sea and use high-resolution videos collected from our fieldwork using submarines and robots to describe deep-sea hydrothermal systems.