CBIOMES Welcomes Gemma Kulk

by Helen Hill for CBIOMES

A warm welcome to postdoc Gemma Kulk who joins Shubha Sathyendranath’s PML CBIOMES Group this month.

Gemma specializes in the photophysiology and primary production of marine phytoplankton. She trained as a marine biologist at the University of Groningen (Netherlands) and Stanford University (USA).

Over the past 10 years, Gemma has combined laboratory experiments with field measurements in the North Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, the Arctic Ocean, and the western Antarctic Peninsula to study the response of marine phytoplankton to changing environmental conditions. She is especially interested in the role of phytoplankton in the ocean’s carbon cycle. Her work has been published in high impact journals and at international conferences.

Gemma has supervised BSc and MSc students at the University of Groningen and has been involved in outreach activities at secondary schools in the Netherlands.

After a move to the Sathyendranath Group at PML in 2018, Gemma continued her work on phytoplankton primary production using ocean color remote sensing, initially studying the role of lake ecosystems in Cholera epidemics in the South-West of India using ocean color remote sensing.  In 2019, Gemma started studying global marine primary production using ocean color remote sensing as part of a fellowship program from the European Space Agency.

Within the CBIOMES project, Gemma will continue her research on primary production and other pools and fluxes of carbon from satellite data.

Gemma holds a BSc and MSc in marine biology from the University of Groningen, The Netherlands (2003-2008, highest honors). Her PhD (also from the University of Groningen (2013) again with highest honors) was for research focused on the role of photophysiology in the response of phytoplankton to changing environmental conditions. Advised by Anita Buma, her doctoral research involved both laboratory studies and field observations.

Select Forthcoming Publications

Kulk G, Platt T, Dingle J, Jackson T, Jönsson B, Bouman HA, Babin M, Doblin M, Estrada M, Figueiras FG, Furuya K, González N, Gudfinnsson HG, Gudmundsson K, Huang B, Isada T, Kovac Z, Lutz VA, Marañón E, Raman M, Richardson K, Rozema PD, Van de Poll WH, Segura V, Tilstone GH, Uitz J, van Dongen-Vogels V, Yoshikawa T, Sathyendranath S (submitted). Primary production, an index of climate change in the ocean: Satellite-based estimates over two decades. Remote Sensing.

Sathyendranath S, Platt T, Kovac Z, Dingle J, Jackson T, Brewin RJW, Franks P, Maranon E, Kulk G, Bouman H (submitted). Reconciling models of primary production and photoacclimation. Ocean Optics.

Other Recent First-Author Publications

Kulk G, Buist A, Van de Poll WH, Rozema PD, Buma AGJ (2019), Size scaling of photophysiology and growth in four freshly isolated diatom species from Ryder Bay, West Antarctic Peninsula, Journal of Phycology, doi: 10.1111/jpy.12813

Kulk, G., Van de Poll, W.H., Buma, A.G.J. (2018), Photophysiology of nitrate limited phytoplankton communities in Kongsfjorden, Spitsbergen, Limnology and Oceanography, doi: 10.1002/lno.10963.

Story image: In her spare time Gemma likes to combine photography with silk screening. She also enjoys cycling, running and skiing. She says she first got inspired by marine wildlife on a boat trip near Sarasota, Florida on a family holiday as a teenager. Soon after, she says, she decided to study marine biology in university instead of attending flight academy (!).

Gemma’s Links