Dr Mark N. Breckels

Postdoctoral Research Officer

Marine Ecology & Biogeochemistry

     
 

 

Mark Breckels

 

Department of Biological Sciences
University of Essex                          Colchester                                                                                     CO43SQ                                                                                                     U.K.

room: 3.18

email: mbreck (at) essex.ac.uk

tel: + 44 (0) 120687 3370

 

 

Research interests:

- Chemical Ecology

- Biogeochemistry

- Plankton Interactions

- Ocean Acidification & Climate Change

- Behavioural Ecology

- Ecological Modelling

 

Current Research Project:

As part of the interdisciplinary 'Algae and Grazers Research Group' at Essex I am working on a three year NERC funded postdoc project with the aim of determining how a phytoplankton derived gas (DMS) influences marine food web interactions.

 In recent years the production and flux of DMS (dimethyl sulfide) into the atmosphere has attracted heightened research attention due to its importance in sulphur biogeochemical cycling, its influence on atmospheric acidity and its role in climate regulation through the production of cloud condensation nuclei.

Grazing by microzooplankton on phytoplankton dramatically increases the production of DMS. Research now shows that DMS stimulates foraging responses in a range of marine organisms from bacteria to seals and seabirds.

Using laboratory and field experiments we study DMS production, feeding rates and plankton behaviour. This data is incorporate into mathematical models to investigating the influence of DMS in structuring these ecologically and economically important plankton interactions that form the basis of our fisheries industry.

For more information on this research please click here

Biography

 
2010

 

Postdoctoral Researcher

 

University of Essex & Plymouth Marine Laboratory

 

2006-2010

 

Ph.D.

 

University of Essex & Plymouth Marine Laboratory

 

2004-2005

 

MRes

 

University of Plymouth & Marine Biological Association

 

2001-2004

 

BSc (Hons)

 

University of Plymouth

 

 

Publications

Lewis, N.D., Breckels, M.N., Steinke, M., Codling, E. (2013) Role of infochemical mediated zooplankton grazing in a phytoplankton competition model. Ecological Complexity, 16, 41-50. (link)

Lewis, N.D., Morozov A., Breckels, M.N., Steinke, M., Codling, E. (2013 Multitrophic interactions in the Sea: Assessing the effect of Infochemical-Mediated Foraging in a 1-d Spatial Model. Mathematical Modelling of Natural Phenomena, 8, 24-44. (link)

Breckels, M.N., Bode, N.W.F., Steinke, M., Codling, E. (2013) Effect of dimethyl sulfide (DMS) production on the swimming behavior of the copepod Calanus helgolandicus. Marine Drugs, 11, 2486-250. [Special Issue: Bioactive Compounds from Marine Plankton]. (link)

Lewis, N.D., Breckels, M.N., Archer S.D., Morozov, A., Pitchford, J.W., Steinke, M., Codling, E. (2012) Grazing-induced production of DMS can stabilize food-web dynamics and promote the formation of phytoplankton blooms in a multitrophic plankton model. Biogeochemistry, 110, 303-312. (DMSP Special Issue).

Montagnes, D. J. S., Lowe, D. D., Roberts, E. C. Breckels, M. N., et al., (2011) An introduction to the special issue: Oxyrrhis marina, the “pink rat”, a model organism? Journal of Plankton Research, 33, 549-554.

Breckels, M.N., Archer S.D., Malin G., Steinke, M. (2011). The role of dissolved infochemicals in mediating predator-prey interactions in the heterotrophic dinoflagellate Oxyrrhis marina. Journal of Plankton Research, 33, 629–639.

Breckels, M.N. Boakes, D.E. Codling, E.A. Malin, G. Archer, S.D. Steinke, M. (2010). Modelling the concentration of dimethylsulphoniopropionate (DMSP) in the boundary layer surrounding phytoplankton cells. Journal of Plankton Research, 32, 253-257.

 

Conferences & Outreach

 

Breckels, M.N., Lewis, N.D., Archer, S.D., Codling, E., and Steinke, M. 'Plankton to Plates: The smell of the sea influences food webs and climate' SET for Britain, House of Commons, London, March 2012. Our participation at the event was featured in a brief article in the Local Gazette 'Research into Ocean Food Chain' 15th March 2012.

Breckels, M.N.
, Codling, E., Archer, S.D., Malin, G. and Steinke, M. 'The chemical ecology of DMSP and related compounds: microscale mediation of plankton interactions' Microenvironments Modulating Biological Interactions in the Ocean, Aspen Centre for Physics, Aspen, Colorado, January 2011.

 

Breckels, M.N., Archer, S.D., Malin, G. and Steinke, M. 'The role of DMSP/ DMS in microzooplankton grazing deterrence: Is the paradigm shifting?'. 5th International Symposium on Biological and Environmental Chemistry of DMS(P) and Related Compounds, National Institute for Oceanography, Goa, India, October, 2010.

 

Breckels, M.N., Archer, S.D., Malin, G. and Steinke, M. 2010. 'The ecological and biogeochemical importance of DMSP-mediated grazing interactions' . 14th Biennial Challenger Conference for Marine Science, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, September, 2010.

Breckels, M.N., Archer, S.D., Malin, G. and Steinke, M. ‘The chemical ecology of DMSP and related compounds in trophic interactions’  at ASLO Aquatic Sciences meeting, Nice, France, January, 2009.
 
Steinke, M., Breckels, M.N., Buskey, E.J., Strickler, J.R. and Malin, G. ‘Tritrophic interactions are mediated by dimethyl sulphide (DMS) release from microzooplankton’  Poster presentation at ASLO Aquatic Sciences meeting, Nice, France, January, 2009.

 

Archer, S.D. and Breckels, M.N. ‘Are Phytoplankton fighting climate change?’  NERC Planet Earth Online, Environmental Research News podcast, November, 2008 (http://planetearth.nerc.ac.uk/multimedia/story.aspx?id=17).

 

Breckels, M.N., Archer, S.D., Malin, G. and Steinke, M. ‘The infochemical role of DMSP and related compounds in trophic interactions’  at the 13th Biennial Challenger Conference for Marine Science, Bangor, Wales, September, 2008.

 

Breckels, M.N. ‘Challenger Society Travel Award: The Influence of DMS on Copepod Behaviour’. Challenger Wave, Newsletter of the Challenger Society for Marine Science, April, 2008.

 

Breckels, M.N., Archer, S.D., Malin, G. and Steinke, M. ‘The infochemical role of DMSP and related compounds in trophic interactions’  at British Society for Protist Biology meeting, Gregynog, Wales, April, 2008.

 

Steinke, M., Breckels, M., Stefels, J. and Stamhuis, E.  'Marine biogenic trace gases and their role in pelagic interspecific interactions'. EUROMECH Colloquium 488, Liverpool, United Kingdom, June 2007.

 

 


 

 
 
 

RESearch Information

Current Project

 

Role of dimethyl sulfide (DMS) in pelagic tritrophic interactions

Supervisors: Dr Michael Steinke &
Dr Stephen Archer

 
 
 

 

RESEARCH Affiliations

 

 

 

UPCOMING & Recent EVENTS

 
 
JR288 Arctic Cruise

JR288 Arctic Cruise

 July-August 2013

Microscale Interactions in Aquatic Environments

Microscale Interactions
Les Houches, 10-15 March 2013

 

 

SET for Britain

SET for Britain

House of Commons, London, 12 March 2012






 RESEARCH Gallery

 


Centropages hamatus - grooming

 
 
Copyright (c) 2010. Site maintained by Mark Breckels (mbreck -at- essex.ac.uk). Plankton images courtesy of Glynn Gorick