Martino Edoardo Malerba

Martino Edoardo Malerba
Monash University (Australia) · School of Biological Sciences, Clayton

Ph.D., James Cook University

About

25
Publications
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234
Citations
Introduction
Martino E. Malerba currently works in the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University (Australia). Martino does research on eco-evolutionary dynamics of marine organisms. His current project investigates the effects of body size after evolving green microalgae to smaller or larger volumes.

Publications

Publications (25)
Article
Full-text available
A multi-nutrient quota model was modified to describe the coupled dynamics of nitrate and nitrite utilization for four phytoplankton species, Picochlorum atomus (Butcher) (Chlorophyta), Nannochloropsis oculata (Droop) (Ochrophyta), Isochrysis sp. (Haptophyta), and Pyrocystis lunula (Schutt) (Dinophyta). Although rarely considered in nutrient-limite...
Article
Agricultural practices have created tens of millions of small artificial water bodies (“farm dams” or “agricultural ponds”) to provide water for domestic livestock worldwide. Among freshwater ecosystems, farm dams have some of the highest greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per m2 due to fertilizer and manure run‐off boosting methane production – an ext...
Article
Worldwide food production is under ever-increasing demand. Meanwhile, climate change is disrupting rainfall and evaporation patterns, making agriculture freshwater supplies more uncertain. IPCC models predict an increased variability in rainfall and temperature over most of the globe under climate change. Yet, the effects of climate variability on...
Article
Full-text available
Larger cells have larger nuclei, but the precise relationship between cell size and nucleus size remains unclear, and the evolutionary forces that shape this relationship are debated. We compiled data for almost 900 species – from yeast to mammals – at three scales of biological organisation: among-species, within-species, and among-lineages of a s...
Article
Coastal ecosystems are under increasing pressure from land-derived eutrophication in most developed coastlines worldwide. Here, we tested for 277 days the effects of a nutrient pulse on blue carbon retention and cycling within an Australian temperate coastal system. After 56 days of exposure, saltmarsh and mangrove plots subject to a high-nutrient...
Article
Full-text available
Cell size influences the rate at which phytoplankton assimilate dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), but it is unclear whether volume‐specific carbon uptake should be greater in smaller or larger cells. On one hand, Fick’s Law predicts smaller cells to have a superior diffusive CO2 supply. On the other, larger cells may have greater scope to invest me...
Article
Full-text available
Size and metabolism are highly correlated, so that community energy flux might be predicted from size distributions alone. However, the accuracy of predictions based on interspecific energy–size relationships relative to approaches not based on size distributions is unknown. We compare six approaches to predict energy flux in phytoplankton communit...
Article
Genome size is tightly coupled to morphology, ecology, and evolution among species [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], with one of the best-known patterns being the relationship between cell size and genome size [6, 7]. Classic theories, such as the “selfish DNA hypothesis,” posit that accumulating redundant DNA has fitness costs but that larger cells can tolerate la...
Article
Full-text available
Body size often declines with increasing temperature. Although there is ample evidence for this effect to be adaptive, it remains unclear whether size shrinking at warmer temperatures is driven by specific properties of being smaller (e.g. surface to volume ratio) or by traits that are correlated with size (e.g. metabolism, growth). We used 290 gen...
Article
Full-text available
Highly nutritional microalgal species are extensively used in aquaculture as live feedstock. Due to difficulties in maintaining microalgae in axenic conditions, they represent a potential pathogen carrier and disease vector in aquaculture ponds. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) via singlet oxygen (¹O2) production is a promising sterilization technique in...
Article
Full-text available
Body size often strongly covaries with demography across species. Metabolism has long been invoked as the driver of these patterns, but tests of causal links between size, metabolism and demography within a species are exceedingly rare. We used 400 generations of artificial selection to evolve a 2427% size difference in the microalga Dunaliella ter...
Article
Full-text available
Artificial structures are proliferating along coastlines worldwide, creating new habitat for heterotrophic filter feeders. The energy demand of this heterotrophic biomass is likely to be substantial, but is largely unquantified. Combining in situ surveys, laboratory assays, and information obtained from geographic information systems, we estimated...
Article
Full-text available
Predicting multiple predator effects (MPEs) on shared prey remains one of the biggest challenges in ecology. Empirical evidence indicates that interactions among predators can alter predation rates and modify any expected linear effects on prey survival. Knowledge on predator density, identity and life-history traits is expected to help predict the...
Article
Full-text available
Size determines the rate at which organisms acquire and use resources but it is unclear what size should be favoured under unpredictable resource regimes. Some theories claim smaller organisms can grow faster following a resource pulse, whereas others argue larger species can accumulate more resources and maintain growth for longer periods between...
Article
Full-text available
Cell size correlates with most traits among phytoplankton species. Theory predicts that larger cells should show poorer photosynthetic performance, perhaps due to reduced intracellular self‐shading (i.e. package effect). Yet current theory relies heavily on interspecific correlational approaches and causal relationships between size and photosynthe...
Article
Full-text available
A major goal of evolutionary biology is to understand how beneficial mutations translate into increased fitness. Here, we study beneficial mutations that arise in experimental populations of yeast evolved in glucose-rich media. We find that fitness increases are caused by enhanced maximum growth rate (R) that come at the cost of reduced yield (K)....
Article
Full-text available
Size imposes physiological and ecological constraints upon all organisms. Theory abounds on how energy flux covaries with body size, yet causal links are often elusive. As a more direct way to assess the role of size, we used artificial selection to evolve the phytoplankton species Dunaliella tertiolecta towards smaller and larger body sizes. Withi...
Article
Full-text available
Many studies examine how body size mediates energy use, but few examine how size simultaneously regulates energy acquisition. Furthermore, rarely energy fluxes are examined while accounting for the role of biotic and abiotic factors in which they are nested. These limitations contribute to an incomplete understanding of how size affects the transfe...
Article
Little is known about levels of dissolved oxygen fish are exposed to daily in typical urbanised tropical wetlands found along the Great Barrier Reef coastline. This study investigates diel dissolved oxygen (DO) dynamics in one of these typical urbanised wetlands, in tropical North Queensland, Australia. High frequency data loggers (DO, temperature,...
Article
Full-text available
Across a wide range of taxa larger mothers produce larger offspring. Theory assumes that larger, more fecund mothers create higher local densities of siblings, and so larger mothers produce larger offspring to offset sibling competition. This assumption has been debated for over 30 years, but direct empirical tests are surprisingly rare. Here, we t...
Article
Full-text available
Trait-based approaches are increasingly used to help understanding community structure and ecosystem functioning. A large proportion of trait-based studies define a species by its mean trait values and assume intraspecific trait variability to be negligible compared to interspecific differences. However, this assumption is rarely tested. Phenotypic...
Article
Full-text available
The intracellular concentration of internal nitrogen (the “cell nitrogen quota”) is crucial to explain the rate at which phytoplankton populations grow. Hence, understanding changes in cell nitrogen quota is informative on aquatic primary productivity, phytoplankton ecology, eutrophication, and algal blooms. However, current methods to directly mon...

Questions

Question (1)
Question
Hello,
I am growing marine phytoplankton in batch cultures and I got a contamination that I have never seen before. It looks like floating white mucus. Under the microscope, it looks like folded plastic bags. I attached some photos.
The microalgae don't seem to mind too much. They grow and they swim in a normal way. I am running a pilot study to check whether antibiotics (Penicillin-Streptomycin at 1unit / 1µg per mL) could help. But my gut feeling is that it is a fungus and I should look for more specific treatments.
Any suggestion of what I could add to my liquid media to combat this contamination? For this study it would be enough to inhibit the growth of the contaminant. I don't have to make the sample aseptic.
Thanks in advance!
Martino

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
To look at the effects of size on the physiology and ecology of phytoplankton cells, we used artificial selection to evolve a green algal species toward different cell sizes. We have achieved 200 generations (1.5 years) and a 500% difference in mean cell volume.
Project
Aquaculture is one of the fasted growing industries in the world. One of the major concerns of the aquacultural industry is biosecurity. Species of the genus Vibrio have been recognized as the most significant pathogens in aquaculture of marine fish and have been linked to food poisoning and mass mortality of breeding stock. The same microorganism currently prevents the closed life cycle farming of tropical rock lobster, which is regarded a lucrative aquaculture product. We are investigating Advanced Oxidation Process (AOPs) involving singlet oxygen as a promising ‘soft’ technique for water sterilization. While UVC treatment is performed industrially, it suffers from several disadvantages in terms of operation costs and safety hazards. We are investigating water-soluble or solid-supported dyes, for example porphyrins. Process optimization and after treatment re-growth methods are used to evaluate detoxification efficiency up to industrial demonstration scales. Toxicity tests on farmed marine species and feedstock are also conducted.