Debora Iglesias-Rodriguez

Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology
photo of Debora Iglesias-Rodriguez

Debora Iglesias-Rodriguez is a biological oceanographer with a broad interest in mechanisms controlling diversity and function in marine biota. She has a B.Sc. in Biology & Biochemistry (Univ. Santiago de Compostela (Spain). After her PhD (1996) on carbon utilization in phytoplankton (Swansea Univ., U.K.), she was awarded a NERC Fellowship to study genetic diversity in coccolithophores (Bristol Univ., U.K.), and a NASA Fellowship to model their distribution using satellite data (Rutgers Univ., USA). Until December 2012, she ran a research group at the National Oceanography Centre (Southampton, U.K.), focusing on marine bioluminescence and the effect of ocean acidification on marine plankton.


Debora Iglesias-Rodriguez has worked for twenty years on diversity and function in marine phytoplankton combining molecular approaches, carbon physiology and biogeochemistry in the lab and in the field. Her team has been working on identifying mechanisms controlling plankton calcification under rising carbon dioxide (CO2) scenarios [ocean acidification (OA)]. This is important at a time when we are witnessing the fastest rate of change in CO2 that the Earth has seen for the past 65 million years. The big questions are: (1) which organisms will be resilient to rising CO2?; (2) how will the physiology of the organisms that adapt will change?; and (3) how will these physiological changes alter marine biogeochemical cycles? She has contributed to several white papers on OA, was a speaker at the 2011 IPCC workshop on OA, and one of her papers (Science 320: 336-340) was identified by Thomson Reuters as “fast breaking paper” and at the top 0.01 most cited papers in Geoscience in 2008. She is currently applying shotgun proteomics to oceanographic questions.