My research focuses on the molecular ecology of aquatic microorganisms. As the major primary producers in freshwater and marine ecosystems, phytoplankton are key components of aquatic food webs and biogeochemical cycles. Moreover, the discovery of abundant viruses in all aquatic environments suggest that they are important agents of phytoplankton mortality. Thus, my research focuses on the role of viruses in phytoplankton population and community ecology. To better understand the complex interactions of phytoplankton and their viruses, I use quantitative molecular techniques to examine their community composition and dynamics in natural environments and laboratory cultures.