Courtney Swink

PhD Student

Courtney standing in front of algae collection

I am a marine microbial ecologist who found her love of research as an undergraduate at the University of South Carolina where I earned my B.S. in Marine Science and Biology. I became interested in working with marine microalgae, microscopic phytoplankton that are important ocean primary producers, during a summer REU with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

I am also interested in how we can improve growth of marine microalgae for biotechnology applications, so I studied microbiome community dynamics of large outdoor microalgae raceway ponds for my M.S. research at the Duke University Marine Lab. My interest in algal-bacterial interactions and how they can improve microalgae growth led me to work as a biologist at Lawrence Livermore National Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy.

I am currently pursing my PhD at the MBA and University of Exeter in the Helliwell group where I am studying the molecular mechanisms and prevalence of diatom-antagonistic bacteria.