Poppy Diver, MEarthSci

PhD Student

Poppy Diver


I am a PhD researcher on a NERC-funded INSPIRE Doctoral Training Partnership between the MBA and the University of Southampton. I am interested in the ecology of marine fungi and their role in biogeochemical processes. My primary research aims are to characterise the key functional traits of marine fungi and to develop a mechanistic basis for their incorporation into plankton community models.

Much of my work utilises a selection of model marine yeast strains from the MBA Fungal Culture Collection. By monitoring yeast cell morphology and physiology across a range of nutrient conditions in the lab, I aim to better understand their ecological function in the dynamic marine environment. Using observations of cell size and growth rate, I draw functional comparisons with other plankton groups.

Before my PhD, I researched the influence of trace metal availability on marine ammonia oxidation as part of the OceanBug group at the University of Oxford. I joined the team as a 4th year MEarthSci student and continued as a research assistant on the APPELS (A Probe of the Periodic Elements for Life in the Sea) project.