The background to her research are the well-known algal blooms that occur in both lakes and at sea every year. The different types of microalgae vary in both color, size and shape. Microalgae are not one genetic lineage but are composed of both eukaryotic and prokaryotic lineages, which also explains their diversity.
Phytoplankton have a planktonic phase where they live in the water and a benthic phase where they form cysts and live on the sea bottom, waiting for the right time to become a plankton again and reproduce.
|Polarella glacialis (Dinophyceae) photographed by Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). (a) planktonic cell, (b) benthic resting cyst|
You can learn more about Karins research here