(Photo by Mak Saito, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
Erin Bertrand has been interested in how the availability of metals in the environment affects microscopic organisms ever since she started conducting research as an undergraduate at Bates College. She has worked to measure nutrient stress in diatoms in Mak Saito’s lab in the WHOI Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department and earned her Ph.D. from the MIT/ WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography in September 2011. When she is not growing diatoms, extracting proteins, taking samples of phytoplankton in Antarctica, or running the mass spectrometer, she likes to hike or run in the woods, listen to live music, or cook something new for her friends and family. Her mentor on this article was Heather Goldstone, a science journalist for WCAI radio (and a graduate of the MIT/WHOI Joint Program).