Dr Susan Kimmance

Microbial Ecologist

Dr Susan Kimmance

Contact Details

+44 (0)1752 633100 (switchboard)

Dr Susan Kimmance is a microbial ecologist at PML, whose main area of research is the functional ecology of phytoplankton. She is particularly interested in the impact of abiotic and biotic stress on phytoplankton physiology and mortality and how this influences primary production, microbial food web dynamics and biogeochemical cycling.

Since joining PML in 2003 her research has combined laboratory experimentation with coastal and oceanic fieldwork to investigate primarily the functional relationships between algal viruses and their phytoplankton hosts, and thus elucidate the ecological importance of viral control of primary production in comparison with other mortality pathways such as grazing or cell death. Linking phytoplankton to stress-induced production of marine trace gases has been an additional focus of more recent research (in collaboration with the trace gas group at PML): assessing the potential antioxidant role of DMSP; the fate of DMSP production through grazing and viral lysis; and determining how the physiological processes leading to DMS production are affected by changing environmental conditions.

Key Projects

NERC: Role of dimethyl sulphide (DMS) in pelagic tritrophic interactions (2012-2013)

UKOA: Pelagic consortium of the UK Ocean Acidification research programme (2011-2013)

NERC PhD studentship: Ecological and functional biodiversity in a marine algal virus system (2010-2013)

NERC PhD studentship: Cell viability and chlorophyll alteration in microeukaryote phytoplankton: exploring the relationship between pigments and cell death (2011-2014)


Kimmance SA, Allen MJ, Pagarete A, Martínez- Martínez J, Wilson WH. Reduction in photosystem II efficiency during a virus-controlled Emiliania huxleyi bloom. DOI: 10.3354/meps1052

Bale N, Airs RL, Kimmance SA, Llewellyn CA, (2013). Transformation of chlorophyll a during viral infection of Emiliania huxleyi. Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 69, 205 : 210

Archer SD, Kimmance SA, Stephens JA, Hopkins FE, Bellerby RGJ, Schulz K, Piontek J, Engel A, (2013). Contrasting responses of DMS and DMSP to ocean acidification in Arctic waters. Biogeosciences, 10, 1893 : 1908

Hopkins FE, Kimmance SA, Stephens JA, Bellerby RGJ, Brussaard CPD, Czerny JC, Schulz K, Archer SD, (2013). Response of halocarbons to ocean acidification in the Arctic. Biogeosciences, 10, 2331 : 2345

Vardi AV, Haramaty LH, Van Mooy BVM, Fredricks HF, Kimmance SA, Larsen A, Bidle KB, (2012). Host-virus dynamics and sub-cellular controls of cell fate in a natural coccolithophore population. Proceeding of the National Academy Of Sciences, 109, 19327 : 19332.

Nissimov JI, Worthy C, Rooks PA, Napier JA, Kimmance SA, Henn MR, Ogata H, Allen M. (2012). Draft Genome Sequence of Four Coccolithoviruses: Emiliania huxleyi Virus EhV-88, EhV-201, EhV-207, and EhV-208. Journal of Virology, 86, 2896 : 2897.

Archer SD, Tarran GA, Stephens JA, Butcher L, Kimmance SA. (2011) Combining flow sorting with gas chromatography to determine phytoplankton group-specific intracellular content of dimethylsulphoniopropionate (DMSP). Aquatic Microbial Ecology, doi: 10.3354/ame01464.

Kimmance SA, Brussaard CPD: (2010) Estimation of viral-induced phytoplankton mortality using the modified dilution method: Limnology and Oceanography Methods: Manual of Aquatic Viral Ecology, Chapter 7, 63-71.

Pagarete A, Allen, M.J., Wilson, W., Kimmance, SA, and de Vargas, C. (2009) Host-virus shift of the sphingolipid pathway along an Emiliania huxleyi bloom: survival of the fattest. Environmental Microbiology 11-11: 2840 – 2848.

Brussaard CPD, Wilhelm SW, Thingstad F, Weinbauer MG, Bratbak G, Heldal M, Kimmance SA, Middelboe M, Nagasaki K, Paul JH, Schroeder DC, Suttle CA, Vaque´ D and Wommack K E. (2008) Global-scale processes with a nanoscale drive: the role of marine viruses. The ISME Journal 1–4.

Kimmance SA, Wilson WH, Archer SD. (2007) Modified dilution technique to estimate viral versus grazing mortality of phytoplankton: limitations associated with method sensitivity in natural waters. Aquatic Microbial Ecology 49 (3), 207-222.

Kimmance SA, Atkinson D, Montagnes DJS.  (2006) Do temperature-food interactions matter?  Responses of production and its components in the model heterotrophic flagellate Oxyrrhis marina. Aquatic Microbial Ecology 42: 63-73.

< Back to staff list