Dr. Alvaro M. Plominsky (Chile, 1984) earned his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences, mention in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica of Chile in 2013. His thesis addressed the strategy for di-nitrogen fixation by an invasive freshwater cyanobacterium, capable of producing hepato-toxins. He adressed this study using both classical microbiology methods as well as proteomics, genomics, advanced techniques of electron microscopy and immunofluorescence. His current interest in the analysis of microbial communities originates during his participation as a student, in the 'Ecology and Diversity of Marine Microorganisms' (ECODIM 2012). This interest would be empathized during his participation in the 'Summer Course on Microbial Oceanography' organized by the 'Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education' (C-MORE, 2013), the University of Hawai'i (USA).
After completing his doctoral studies, he joined as a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Dr. Osvaldo Ulloa, winning a FONDECYT Post-doctoral research grant entitled 'Linking biogeochemical cycles in the oxygen minimum zones of the eastern Pacific Ocean through single key-cell genomics of microorganisms.' Besides, Alvaro has worked in Dr. Ulloa's FONDECYT Project focusing on the analysis of single-cell genomics of a particular subgroup of the cyanobacterium Prochlorococcus, the most abundant photosynthetic organism in the ocean, which inhabits the upper layer of the Oxygen minimum Zone (OMZ) of the tropical regions of North and South Pacific Ocean.
Dr. Alvaro M. Plominsky's contribution will be to generate a genomic background for the microorganisms inhabiting ZMOs of the Pacific Ocean, in order to determine metabolic differences and similarities between those inhabitants of both hemispheres. Additionally, this information will complement physiological experiments of the microbial community of ZMOs, help in generating local culture isolates based on the metabolic needs of microorganisms of interest.