Kimberly Halsey

Phytoplankton Physiological Ecology

Category: Students

Diatom sex

Nobody had ever seen the model centric diatom, Thalassiosira pseudonana, undergo sexual reproduction. Grad student, Eric Moore, documented the sexual stages and showed upregulation of genes involved in meiosis and flagellar synthesis. Moreover, he figured out what triggers these diatoms and other centric diatoms to shift into the sexual cycle resulting in cell enlargement. Read about it here on BioRxiv.


Kelsey…left her mark and now moving on

Congratulations to Kelsey!! She defended her MS on December 7, and a few weeks later packed her bags for sunny UCSB. Kelsey will be a culturing technician in Alyson Santoro’s lab. Kelsey was energetic, creative, and dedicated…qualities that are essential for graduate school. We will sure miss her humor…and look forward to hearing about her new adventures down south.

Duncan receives a scholarship

Duncan Ocel received the OSU Honors College DeLoach Work Scholarship to pursue investigations of VOCs produced by marine cyanobacteria. This scholarship will allow him to spend more hours in the lab – and we are happy with that outcome!

Briana landed a job!

Way to go, Briana! Briana helped generate some very exciting data for an upcoming paper during her undergraduate and post-baccalaureate research in our lab. She will be working at OSU’s Veterinary Diagnostics Lab as a medical technician.

Congratulations, Eric!

Eric Moore was awarded the Middlekauf Graduate Achievement Award in Microbiology! He has made some exciting progress and discoveries that I hope we can announce soon…stay tuned!

New paper on light limitation

Our newest paper on photosynthetic energy use was accepted yesterday in Photosynthesis Research. Former graduate student Nerissa Fisher (MS 2015) discovered that under very low light availability, diatoms shift their metabolism in favor of very short ATP generating pathways that circumvent carbon intermediates. These results suggest that this type of pathway gating facilitates the remarkably high efficiencies with which diatoms convert light energy into biomass, especially in low light (Fisher and Halsey, 2016). The paper can be found here:

Mechanisms that increase the growth efficiency of diatoms in low light

2016 Ocean Sciences meeting in New Orleans

Eric presenting his data!

Grad students Eric and Kelsey just returned from the Ocean Science meeting held in New Orleans. They presented posters on their work, attended dozens of talks, participated in scientific socials, toured research vessels, ate heartily, and even performed on-stage (Kelsey on the trombone, below). These two took full advantage of this scientific conference by being prepared and enthusiastic young scientists.


Undergraduate researchers

Four undergraduates are currently working in the lab on various projects. It is typical that undergrad researchers are paired with a graduate student or post-doc to carry out research projects. The dedication that all four of these undergrads have put into these projects is commendable, and will almost certainly result in authorship in upcoming manuscripts.

Bethany Moua has been completing experiments for her Honors thesis project that she will present Spring term.

Briana Bullington has worked in the lab for over a year Рstudents that can commit to a longer stay in the lab become heavily engaged in their projects, and, like Briana, can make significant  research contributions.

Duncan Ocel is a Botany major conducting his own project on Synechococcus. I am confident that his self-motivation and curiosity will yield new, exciting results.

Beckie Wyse is part of the STEM leaders program. She is a freshman at OSU, and is “learning the ropes” in the lab, providing key support in media preparation and culture maintenance.



Congratulations to THREE members of the lab for their very hard work that led to recent scholarship awards!

  • Dr. Cleo Davie-Martin ~ recipient of a 2015 Fall OSU OPA Professional Development Award.
  • Kelsey McBeain, graduate student ~ recipient of the 2015 Dick and Toshi Morita Scholarship.
  • Eric Moore, graduate student ~ recipient of the Middlekauf Graduate Teaching Assistantship Scholarship.

© 2017 Kimberly Halsey

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