Gordon T. Taylor
Ph.D., 1983, University of Southern California
Marine microbiology, interests in microbial ecology,
biogeochemistry and marine biofouling
(Global Research Projects: 1, 2)
My research has focused on three major areas: microbial mediation of biogeochemical process (particularly carbon cycling), trophic interactions among microorganisms (bacteria, protozoans, algae and viruses), and microbial biofouling. I am especially interested in microbiological and chemical exchange processes across interfaces, such as oxic/anoxic, sediment/water and air/water boundaries.
One of my enduring research interests has been the diagenesis and microbial ecology of organic debris as it is transported from sites of production to sites of deposition. Flux and decomposition of this material in the ocean has important implications on nutrient cycling, ocean productivity, transport of contaminants, and the ocean's capacity to sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide in its interior (deep water and sediments). Microbiological processes are intimately linked to the fate of this carbon. As part of the NSF-funded CARIACO Time Series Program (CArbon Retention In A Colored Ocean), we are improving our understanding of current carbon cycling dynamics in the Cariaco Basin on the continental margin of Venezuela (Caribbean Sea). Our results are being used to better interpret ocean conditions and climate in the geologic past in order to better predict the future. To learn more about this program, visit its website (http://www.imars.marine.usf.edu/CAR/) or refer to some of the publications listed below.
My lab and Prof. M. Scranton’s lab are focusing on biogeochemistry, microbial dynamics and transformations of organic materials transported to the redoxcline (transition between oxic and anoxic waters). We are particularly keen to understand processes that control chemoautotrophic production within the redoxcline. The reason being that chemoautotrophic carbon fixation has been a significant fraction of primary production in overlying waters during some of our observations. In addition to our times series program, we and colleagues from several other institutions have added two NSF-sponsored Microbial Observatories to the CARIACO core program, one focusing on prokaryotes and the other on microbial eukaryotes. In these programs, we combine geochemical and traditional microbial ecological measurements with modern molecular techniques (ssu rRNA libraries, T-RFLP, DGGE, FISH, microautoradiography-FISH, etc.) to unravel the interplay between chemical gradients, elemental cycling and microbial population dynamics. Our findings will likely have broader application to other anoxic systems, such as fjords, stratified basins and sediments.
For the last 40 years, studies on nutrient limitation of phytoplankton have primarily focused on nitrogen, phosphorus, silicon, and most recently on iron, but have largely ignored organic micronutrients, particularly coenzymes like B-vitamins. Many phytoplankton species that are important in the ocean’s biological carbon pump are incapable of biosynthesizing one or more of the essential B-vitamins. Therefore uptake of exogenous B-vitamins is required for their growth. This is a very interesting example of ecological adaptation whereby some phytoplankton taxa have evolved to rely on external sources of a class of organic nutrient that is presumably produced mostly by bacteria. With Prof. S. Sañudo-Wilhelmy, we are exploring the cycling of exogenous B-vitamins through field observations of a wide range of oceanographic regimes and by experimentation to better understand the influence of B-vitamins on phytoplankton community dynamics.
Presence of human viruses in commercial shellfish and recreational waters that test negative for sewage proxies (fecal coliforms and enterocooci bacteria) suggests that water quality surveillance methods may be insufficient to prevent waterborne and foodborne disease transmission to human consumers of coastal resources. We recently embarked on a NOAA-funded (Oceans and Human Health Initiative) project to investigate fundamental oceanographic processes regulating loss and decay of viruses in the coastal ocean. Processes such as sorption to particles and unreceptive hosts, spontaneous disintegration, enzymatic decay and solute sorption to viruses are under scrutiny. Project combines field and laboratory experiments to evaluate processes removing and degrading viruses upon introduction to the coastal ocean. A unique aspect is that we are collaborating with several virology labs on campus to assess infective titers of common human viruses (enteroviruses, adenoviruses, rotaviruses, etc.) in environmental samples as well as quantifying their gene copies using real-time PCR. Our long-term goal is to develop mechanistic models to guide future surveillance strategies and suggest mitigation approaches.
Taylor GT, Muller-Karger F, Thunell RC, Scranton MI, Astor Y, Varela R, Troccoli-Ghinaglia L, Lorenzoni L, Fanning KA, Hameed S, Doherty O. (2012) Ecosystem response to global climate change in the southern Caribbean Sea. Proc. Nat'l. Acad. Sci. (USA) 109(47): 19315-19320.
Li XN, Taylor GT, Astor Y, Varela R, Scranton MI. (2012) Response to comment on 'The conundrum between chemoautotrophic production and reductant and oxidant supply: A case study from the Cariaco Basin'. Deep-Sea Res. 70:106-108.
Li XN, Taylor GT, Astor Y, Varela R, Scranton MI. (2012) The conundrum between chemoautotrophic production and oxidant and reductant supply: a case study from the Cariaco Basin. Deep-Sea Res. I, 61: 1-10.
Podlaska A, Wakeham SG, Fanning K, Taylor GT. (2012) Microbial community structure and chemoautotrophic activity in the oxygen minimum zone of the eastern tropical North Pacific. Deep-Sea Res. I, 66: 77-89.
Bell SL, Allam B, McElroy A, Dove A, Taylor GT. (2012) Investigation of epizootic shell disease in American lobsters (Homarus americanus) from Long Island Sound: I. Characterization of associated microbial communities. J Shellfish Res 31(2): 473-484.
Homerding M, McElroy A, Taylor GT, Dove A, Allam B. (2012) Investigation of epizootic shell disease in American lobsters (Homarus americanus) from Long Island Sound: II. Immune parameters in lobsters and relationships to the disease. J Shellfish Res 31(2): 495-504.
Wakeham SG, Turich C, Schubotz F, Podlaska A, Li XN, Varela R, Astor Y, Saenz J, Rush D, Sinninghe Damsté J, Summons RE, Scranton MI, Taylor GT & Hinrichs K-U. (2012) Biomarkers, chemistry and microbiology show chemoautotrophy in a multilayer chemocline in the Cariaco Basin. Deep-Sea Res. 63: 133-156.
Orsi W, Edgcomb V, Faria J, Foissner W, Fowle WH, Hohmann T, Suarez P, Taylor C, Taylor GT, Vdacný P & Epstein SS. (2012) Class Cariacotrichea, a novel ciliate taxon from the anoxic Cariaco Basin,Venezuela. Internat'l Jour System Evolutionary Microbio. 62: 1425-1433.
Edgcomb V, Orsi W, Taylor GT, Vdacny P, Taylor C, Suarez P, Epstein S. (2011) Accessing marine protists from the anoxic Cariaco Basin.J Int Soc Microb Ecol. 5(8): 1237-1241.
Edgcomb V, Orsi W, Bunge J, Jeon SO, Christen R, Leslin C, Holder M, Taylor GT, Suarez P, Varela R, Epstein S. (2011) Protistan microbial observatory in the Cariaco Basin, Caribbean. I. Pyrosequencing vs Sanger insights into species richness. J Int Soc Microb Ecol. 5(8): 1344-1356.
Orsi W, Edgcomb V, Jeon SO, Bunge J, Taylor GT, Varela R, Epstein S. (2011) Protistan microbial observatory in the Cariaco Basin, Caribbean. II. Habitat specialization. J Int Soc Microb Ecol. 5(8): 1357-1373.
Finiguerra MB, Escribano DF, Taylor GT. (2011) Light-independent mechanisms of virion inactivation in coastal marine systems. Hydrobiologia, 665: 51-66.
Wakeham SG, Turich C, Taylor GT, Podlaska A, Scranton MI, Li XN, Varela R, Astor Y. (2010) Mid-chain methoxylated fatty acids within the chemocline of the Cariaco Basin: a chemoautotrophic source? Organic Geochem. 41:498-512.
Muller-Karger FE, Varela R, Thunell RC, Scranton MI, Taylor GT, Astor Y, Benitez-Nelson CR, Lorenzoni L, Tappa E, Goñi MA, Rueda D & Hu C. (2010) The CARIACO Oceanographic Time Series. In: Carbon and Nutrient Fluxes in Continental Margins: A Global Synthesis. JGOFS Continental Margins Task Team Synthesis Book. Editors: KK Liu, L Atkinson, Renato Quinoñes, Liana Talaue-McManus (2006) Springer-Verlag New York, p. 454-463.
Taylor GT, Thunell RC, Varela R, Benitez-Nelson C & Scranton MI. (2009) Hydrolytic ectoenzyme activity associated with suspended and sinking organic particles above and within the anoxic Cariaco Basin. Deep-Sea Res. 56: 1266-1283
Panzeca C, Beck AJ, Tovar-Sanchez A, Segovio-Zavala J, Gobler CJ, Taylor GT, Sañudo-Wilhelmy SA (2009) Distributions of dissolved vitamin B12 and Co in coastal and open-ocean marine systems. Estuar. Coastal Shelf Sci. 85: 223-230.
Li X, Taylor GT, Astor Y, Scranton MI. (2009) Relationship of sulfur speciation to hydrographic conditions and chemoautotrophic production in the Cariaco Basin. Mar. Chem. 112: 53-64
Taylor GT & Sullivan CW (2008) Vitamin B12 and cobalt cycling among diatoms and bacteria in Antarctic sea ice microbial communities. Limnol. Oceanogr. 53: 1862-1877.
Panzeca C, Beck AJ, LeBlanc K, Taylor GT, Hutchins DA, Sañudo-Wilhelmy SA (2008) Potential cobalt limitation of vitamin B12 synthesis in the North Atlantic Ocean. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 22: GB2029, doi:10.1029/2007GB003124
Lin X, MI Scranton, AY Chistoserdov, R Varela & Taylor GT (2008) Spatiotemporal dynamics of bacterial populations in the anoxic Cariaco Basin. Limnol Oceanogr. 53(1): 37-51.
Gobler CJ, Norman C, Panzeca C, Taylor GT, Sañudo-Wilhelmy SA (2007) Effects of vitamins (B1, B12) and inorganic nutrient dynamics on algal blooms in Long Island estuaries. Aquat. Microb. Ecol. 49: 181-194
Lin X, Scranton MI, Varela R, Chistoserdov AY & Taylor GT (2007) Compositional responses of bacterial communities to redox gradients and grazing in the anoxic Cariaco Basin. Aquat. Microb. Ecol. 47: 57-72
Panzeca C, Tovar-Sanchez A, Agustí S, Reche I, Duarte CM & Taylor GT & Sañudo-Wilhelmy SA (2006) B vitamin as regulators of phytoplankton dynamics. EOS, 87(52):593-596
Lin X, Wakeham SG, Putnam IF, Astor YM, Scranton MI & Taylor GT (2006) Vertical distributions of prokaryotic assemblages in the anoxic Cariaco Basin and Black Sea compared using fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 72(4): 2679-2690
Sañudo-Wilhelmy, SA, Okbamichael M, Gobler CJ & Taylor GT (2006) Regulation of phytoplankton dynamics by vitamin B12. Geophys. Res. Letters. 33, L04604, doi:10.1029/2005GL025046
Taylor GT, Gobler CJ & Sañudo-Wilhelmy SA (2006) Speciation and concentrations of dissolved nitrogen as determinants of brown tide (Aureococcus anophagefferens) bloom initiation. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 312:67-83
Stoeck T, Hayward B, Taylor GT, Varela R, Epstein SS (2006) The multiple PCR-primer approach to access the microeukaryotic diversity in the anoxic Cariaco Basin (Caribbean Sea). Protist 157: 31-43
Stoeck T, Taylor GT & Epstein S (2003) Novel eukaryotes from a permanently anoxic Cariaco Basin (Caribbean Sea). Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 69: 5656-5663.
Taylor GT, Hein C & Iabichella M (2003) Temporal variations in viral distributions in the anoxic Cariaco Basin. Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 30: 103-116.
Taylor GT, Way J & Scranton MI (2003) Transport and planktonic cycling of organic carbon in the highly urbanized Hudson River estuary. Limnol. Oceanogr. 48: 1779-1795.
Taylor GT, Way J, Yu Y & Scranton MI (2003) Patterns of hydrolytic ectoenzyme activity among bacterioplankton communities in the lower Hudson River and Western Long Island Sound estuaries. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 263:1-15.
Anderson TH & Taylor GT (2001) Nutrient pulses, plankton blooms and hypoxia in western Long Island Sound. Estuaries, 24: 228-243.
Taylor GT, Scranton MI, Iabichella M, Ho T-Y, Thunell RC, Muller-Karger F & Varela R. (2001) Chemoautotrophy in the redox transition zone of the Cariaco Basin: A significant midwater source of organic carbon production. Limnol. Oceanogr. 46: 148-163.