Dr. Xuefeng (Nick) Peng is a new Assistant Professor in the SEOE. He is interested in understanding how microbial communities shape global biogeochemical cycles and the marine environment. His studies both coastal/estuarine systems such as salt marshes and open ocean systems such as the oxygen minimum zones.
Currently, Dr. Peng is investigating the impact of marine fungi on biogeochemical cycling of nitrogen and carbon. Fungi are known to play a major role in terrestrial ecosystems, but their roles in marine environments are poorly understood. Dr. Peng studies the activity of fungi and their interactions with other microorganisms by “eavesdropping” them (with meta-transcriptomics) in their natural environment and by observing them (with cultivation and genomics) in the laboratory. This work offers a novel perspective on how marine microbial communities respond to environmental changes including pollution, warming, and deoxygenation.
To learn more about Nick and his research, check out his lab and personal website at www.marinemicrobe.com