Center for Marine Science

About Us :: People

dr. wendy strangman

Catharina Alves-de-Souza, Research Professor & Director of the Algal Resources Collection

PhD in Ecology, Université Pierre et Marrie Curie (France) and Universidad Austral de Chile (Chile), 2011
MS in Botany (Phycology), Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), 2002
BS in Biology, Universidade Iguaçu (Brazil), 1999

Center for Marine Science, 5600 Marvin K. Moss Ln, Wilmington, NC 28409
(910) 962-2409

My research is centered on the taxonomy and ecology of marine and freshwater microalgae with a special focus on the biotic control of the harmful algal blooms by unicellular eukaryote parasites. I have extensive interest in phytoplankton diversity and ecology, with broad experience in diverse microalgal groups including cyanobacteria, dinoflagellates, diatoms, and phytonanoflagellates, and in working in very diverse environments. My research approach is based on both observational and experimental data that are integrated through innovative statistical and modeling tools to identify the main drivers affecting population dynamics within plankton microbial communities.

I am interested in three primary aspects:

  1. Characterization of the main players in the microbial plankton communities and differentiating effects caused by environmental and biotic drivers

  2. Identification of the primary natural enemies (e.g., predators, parasites) modulating the population dynamics of the predominant species

  3. Assessment of how interspecific interactions such as parasite-host and predator-prey dynamics are affected by other co-occurring.biotic interactions (e.g., competition, allelopathy)

As the ecological assessment of biotic communities depends on the precise delimitation of species forming the different populations, I prioritize the proper taxonomic identification of the species based on traditional (morphology) and molecular methods of both wild and cultured populations. This makes possible not only the accurate determination of the population oscillations of plankton species for which quantitative data is scarce due to the inherent difficulty in their identification but also the quantification of all parasitic life-stages in environmental samples (which is critical when determining in situ parasitic-host dynamics). At the same time, I dedicate a considerable effort on culturing microalgae and their predators/parasites, which allows a better characterization of the species and the performance of experiments aiming to determine the numerical-functional responses of predators and parasites.

Recent publications

Alves-de-Souza, C., Benevides, T., Menezes, M., Jeanthon, C., Guillou, L. (2019) First report of vampyrellid predator-prey dynamics in a marine system. The ISME Journal 13: 1110-1113. 

Alves-de-Souza, C., Iriarte, J., & Mardones, J. (2019). Interannual Variability of Dinophysis acuminata and Protoceratium reticulatum in a Chilean Fjord: Insights from the Realized Niche Analysis. Toxins 11: 19.

Mardones, J.I., Fuenzalida, G., Zenteno, C., Alves-de-Souza, C., Astuya, A., Dorantes-Aranda, J.J. (2019) Salinity-growth response and ichthyotoxic potency of the Chilean Pseudochattonella verruculosa. Frontiers in Marine Sciences 6: 24. 

Menezes, M., Branco, S., Miotto, N.C., Alves-de-Souza, C. (2018) The genus Alexandrium (Dinophyceae, Dinophyta) in Brazilian coastal waters. Frontiers in Marine Sciences 5: 421. 

Diaz, J.M., Plummer, S., Tomas, C., Alves-de-Souza, C. (2018). Extracellular production of superoxide and hydrogen peroxide by harmful algae. Journal of Plankton Research 40: 667-677. 

Alves-de-Souza, C., Benevides, T.S., Santos, J.B.O, Von Dassow, P., Guillou, L., Menezes, M. (2017) Does environmental heterogeneity explain temporal β diversity of small eukaryotic phytoplankton? Example from a tropical eutrophic coastal lagoon. Journal of Plankton Research 39: 698-714.  

Karafas, S., Teng, S. T., Leaw, C. P., Alves-de-Souza, C. (2017). An evaluation of the genus Amphidinium (Dinophyceae) combining evidence from morphology, phylogenetics, and toxin production, with the introduction of six novel species. Harmful Algae 68: 128-151. 

Nascimento, S.M., Mendes, M.C.Q., Menezes, M., Rodríguez, F., Alves-de-Souza, C., Branco, S., Riobó, P., Franco, J., Nunes, J.M.C., Hukg, M., Morris, S., Fraga, S. (2017). Morphology and phylogeny of Prorocentrum caipirignum sp. nov. (Dinophyceae), a new tropical toxic benthic dinoflagellate. Harmful algae 70: 73-89. 

Blanquart, F., Valero, M., Alves-de-Souza, C., Dia, A., Lepelletier, F., Bigeard, E., Jeanthon, C., Destombe, C., Guillou, L. (2016) Evidence for parasite-mediated selection during short-lasting toxic algal blooms. Proceedings of Royal Society B 283: 20161870. 10.1098/rspb.2016.1870 

Jephcott, T.G., Alves-de-Souza, C., Gleason, F.H., Van Ogtrop, F.F., Sime-Ngando, T., Karpov, S.A., Guillou, L (2016) Ecological impacts of parasitic chytrids, syndiniales and perkinsids on populations of marine photosynthetic dinoflagellates. Fungal Ecology 19: 47-58.

Alves-de-Souza, C., Pecqueur, D., Le Floc’h, E., Mas, S., Roques, C., Mostajir, B., Vidussi, F., Velo-Suárez, L., Sourisseau, M., Fouilland, E., Guillou, L. (2015) Significance of plankton community structure and nutrient availability for the control of dinoflagellate blooms by parasites: a modeling approach. PLOs ONE 10(6): e0127623.

Alves-de-Souza, C., Varela, D., Contreras, C., La Iglesia, P., Fernández, P., Hipp, B., Hernández, C., Riobó, P., Reguera, B., Franco, J.M., Diogène, J., García, C., Lagos, N. (2014) Seasonal variability of Dinophysis spp. and Protoceratium reticulatum associated to lipophilic shellfish toxins in a strongly stratified Chilean fjord, Deep-Sea Research II 101: 152-162.

Alves-de-Souza, C., Varela, D., Iriarte, J.L., González, H.E., Huillou, L. (2012) Infection dynamics of Amoebophryidae parasitoids on harmful dinoflagellates in a southern Chilean fjord dominated by diatoms. Aquatic Microbial Ecology. 66: 183-197. 

Varela, D., Paredes, J., Alves-de-Souza, C. et al. (2012) Intraregional variation among Alexandrium catenella (Dinophyceae) strains from southern Chile: morphological, toxicological and genetic diversity. Harmful Algae 15: 8-18. 

Chambouvet, A., Alves-de-Souza, C., Cueff, V., Marie, D., Karpov, S., Guillou, L. (2011) Interplay between the parasite Amoebophrya sp. (Alveolata) and the cyst formation of the red tide dinoflagellate Scrippsiella trochoidea. Protist 162: 637-649.

Alves-de-Souza, C., Cornet, C., Nowaczyk, A., Gasparini, S., Skovgaard, A., Guillou, L. (2011) Blastodinium spp. infect copepods in the ultra-oligotrophic marine waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Biogeosciences 8: 2125-2136. 

Siano, R., Alves-de-Souza, C., Foulon, E., Bendif, M., Simon, N., Guillou, L., Not, F. (2011) Distribution and host diversity of Amoebophryidae parasites across oligotrophic waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Biogeosciences 8: 267-278.

Alves-de-Souza, C., González, M.T., Iriarte, J.L. (2008) Functional groups in marine phytoplankton assemblages dominated by diatoms in fjords of southern Chile. Journal of Plankton Research 30: 1233-1243.

Alves-de-Souza, C. et al. (2008) Distribution, abundance and diversity of modern dinoflagellate cyst assemblages from Southern Chile (43-54° S). Botanica Marina 51: 399-410