Molecular ecologist Natalie Cohen joined the University of Georgia Skidaway Institute of Oceanography faculty in December 2020
Cohen studies the molecular components within phytoplankton, especially their DNA, RNA and proteins.
“I’m also dabbling and trace metal geochemistry,” Cohen said. “And that makes Skidaway a really great place to be, because there are several other geochemists here, which is really nice for collaborations and coming up with new research directions.”
Although so tiny they are out of sight to a non-scientist, Cohen says the phytoplankton she studies are a vital part of the ocean.
“They carry out powerful reactions in the ocean, and they’re responsible for the transfer and movement of energy from the surface of the ocean to the ocean interior,” she said. “So, they play an essential role in our ocean biogeochemical cycles.”
Cohen received her B.S. in biology from Penn State and her Ph.D. in marine sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She joins UGA Skidaway Institute from a post-doctoral fellowship at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.
Cohen is also an assistant professor in the UGA marine sciences department.