Thermodynamically Constrained Metabolic Networks for Ocean Modeling

Joe Vallino
Marine Biological Laboratory

Predicting how marine chemistry and biology will respond to global change is a pressing issue for society. This project will develop new modeling techniques for predicting such changes using ideas derived from physics in the subdiscipline of thermodynamics that concerns how energy moves in a system. Recent advancements in thermodynamics indicate that systems will internally organize so as to maximize the flow and dissipation of energy. For example, the temperature difference that develops between the ocean and atmosphere over the summer drives the formation of hurricanes (the organized structures), the presence of which hastens dissipation of the temperature difference.

This project utilizes this fundamental property but extends it to microbial communities, such as bacteria and phytoplankton, which form the base of the ocean food web and strongly influence ocean chemistry. Based on information on how biology utilizes solar and chemical energy to construct itself from carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and other elements in the environment, the model can predict how metabolic functions, such as photosynthesis or nitrogen fixation from the atmosphere, are expressed over time and space within the ocean.

CBIOMES Collaborators in Vallino’s Group

News from the Vallino Group

February 2022 CBIOMES All Hands Poster Meeting

A big THANK-YOU to everyone who presented at the February e-meeting!  (more…)

CBIOMES Welcomes Olivia Ahern

by Helen Hill for CBIOMES A warm welcome to Olivia Ahern who recently joined MBL-CBIOMES to work with Joe Vallino. (more…)

Recordings and microtalks from the Vallino Group. Please note access to this page is restricted to CBIOMES associates. (more…)

December 2020 CBIOMES (Poster) e-Meeting

To provide an opportunity to "pick up the conversation" and chat with colleagues about where work had gone since our Annual Meeting in June, the December gathering was an all-hands...


Joseph J. Vallino and Ioannis Tsakalakis (2020), Phytoplankton temporal strategies increase entropy production in a marine food web model, Entropy, doi: 10.3390/e22111249 Get the PDF [Requires login]

2020 Joint Simons Marine Collaborations Meeting

Please note access to this page is restricted to CBIOMES associates only. Besides CBIOMES, the Simons Foundation supports three other marine collaborations: BIOS-SCOPE, PriME, and SCOPE. A joint meeting, October...

The Vallino Group goes to Annual Meeting

The MBL-CBIOMES group heads-up the Thermodynamically Constrained Metabolic Networks for Ocean Modeling project. In his video, Joe Vallino presents an overview of their progress and advertises team members' posters. Please...

March 2020 CBIOMES e-meeting – Joe Vallino (MBL)

“The Importance of Incorporating Planktonic Temporal Strategies in Marine Ecosystem Models.” Please note access to this page is restricted to CBIOMES associates. (more…)

Marine Microbial Musings

CBIOMES Investigator Joe Vallino Speaks to the Finding Genius Podcast Team about marine microorganisms, ocean chemistry, and thermodynamics (more…)

CBIOMES Goes to Ocean Sciences 2020

Look out for members of the CBIOMES team, sharing their work at this year’s Ocean Sciences conference taking place February 16-21 in San Diego, California. (more…)

Fourth Annual Traits Workshop

Reporting by Helen Hill for CBIOMES The fourth Workshop on Trait-Based Approaches to Ocean Life, held August 18-21, 2019 at Chicheley Hall in Buckinghamshire in the UK was a wonderful opportunity for...

Recent Research in the Vallino Group

by Joe Vallino for CBIOMES Please note access to this page is restricted to CBIOMES associates only. (more…)

CBIOMES Welcomes Ioannis Tsakalakis

A warm welcome to postdoc Ioannis Tsakalakis who joins Joe Vallino's MBL CBIOMES Group this month. (more…)

Using MEP to Describe Microbial Biogeochemistry over Time and Space in a Meromictic Pond

by Helen Hill for CBIOMES CBIOMES investigator Joe Vallino leverages the principle of maximum entropy production (MEP) to understand microbial biogeochemistry in a Falmouth, MA pond. (more…)

Past Annual Reporting

2020 |2019 | 2018  [login required]