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Marine Ecology Research Centre

Dr Elisabeth Deschaseaux

Bachelor of Cellular Biology and Physiology, University of Bordeaux II, Gironde, France

Bachelor of Applied Science (1st Class Honours) University of Canberra

PhD, Marine Ecology Research Centre and Centre for Coastal Biogeochemistry Research, Southern Cross University

Research Summary

Elisabeth Deschaseaux Liz completed her undergraduate studies in Cellular Biology and Physiology at the University of Bordeaux II (France). She came to Australia in 2006 to complete an Honours degree at the University of Canberra, ACT, on the effect of temperature and salinity on gastropod egg masses by looking at biomarkers such as total antioxidant capacity, lipid peroxidation and lysosomal destabilisation. She also worked for two years as a Research Assistant at the Institute for Applied Ecology in Canberra, ACT. She has recently completed her PhD at Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, on the production of atmospheric dimethylsulphide (DMS) and sulphur precursors (DMSP, DMSO) by corals and its implications for climate regulation and oxidative stress. She is currently undertaking postdoctoral research on DMS(P)(O) production in coral reef ecosystems within the Marine Ecology Research Centre.

DMS is the most abundant sulphur gas present in the marine boundary layer. Its two precursors, dimethylsulphoniopropionate (DMSP) and dimethylsulphoxide (DMSO), are produced by various species of marine algae such as macro algae, phytoplankton and coral-associated zooxanthellae. Recent evidence has shown that the animal host could also produce DMSP in corals, making coral reefs a unique platform for the production of DMSP and potentially DMS emissions. According to the CLAW hypothesis (acronym of the authors' surnames), DMS is believed to act as a climate regulator of sea surface temperature and incident solar radiation when oxidised to non-sea-salt sulphate aerosols that can produce cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). CCN are responsible for the formation of low-level stratocumulus clouds over the ocean. Understanding the mechanisms involved in the negative feedback that DMS could have on global warming as well as identifying the parameters that drive the DMS production over the reef has became crucial in the present context of climate change. The production of DMS and precursors has also been hypothesised to occur as a consequence of these sulphur substances being used as antioxidants by corals and marine algae. Part of Liz' research is to determine whether the production of those sulphur compounds might help to maintain the antioxidant capacity in corals

Awards

$21,000 Postdoctoral Research Fellow funding (2014)

$5,000 Student International Research Linkage Scheme for collaborations with the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Alabama, USA (2012)

Second prize - 3 minute thesis competition Southern Cross University (2011)

Publications

Refereed journal articles

Pontasch S, Hill R, Deschaseaux E, Fisher PL, Davy SK, Scott A (2014) Photochemical efficiency and antioxidant capacity in relation to Symbiodinium genotype and host phenotype in a symbiotic cnidarian. Submitted to Marine Ecology Progress Series.

Jones GB, Fischer E, Deschaseaux ESM, Harrison PL (2014) The effect of coral bleaching on the cellular concentration of dimethylsulphoniopropionate in reef corals. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 460(0): 19-31.

Deschaseaux ESM, Beltran VH, Jones GB, Deseo MA, Swan HB Harrison PL and Eyre BD (2014) Comparative response of DMS and DMSP concentrations in Symbiodinium clades C1 and D1 under thermal stress. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 459(0): 181-189.

Deschaseaux ESM, Kiene RP, Oswald L, Jones GB Deseo MA Swan HB and Eyre BD (2014) Dimethylsulphoxide (DMSO) in biological samples: a comparison of the TiCl3 and NaBH4 reduction methods using headspace analysis. Marine Chemistry, 164(0): 9-15.

Deschaseaux ESM, Jones GB, Deseo MA, Shepherd KM, Kiene RP, Swan HB, Harrison PL and Eyre BD (2014) Effects of environmental factors on dimethylated sulphur compounds and their potential role in the antioxidant system of the coral holobiont. Limnology and Oceanography, 59(3): 758-768.

Deschaseaux ESM, Deseo MA, Shepherd KM, Jones GB and Harrison, PL (2013) Air blasting as the optimal approach for the extraction of antioxidants in coral tissue. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 448: 146-148.

Deschaseaux E, Taylor A and Maher W (2011) Measure of stress response induced by temperature and salinity changes on hatched larvae of three marine gastropod species. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 397: 121-128.

Deschaseaux, ESM, Taylor AM, Maher WA and Davis AR (2010) Cellular responses of encapsulated embryos to multiple stressors associated with climate change. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 383: 130-136.

Refereed conference proceeding

Vaattovaara P, Swan H, Jones G, Deschaseaux E, Miljevic B, Laaksonen A and Ristovski Z (2013) The contribution of sulfates and oxidized organics in climatically important ultrafine particles at a coral reef. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, 82: 902-906.

Swan HB, Jones GB and Deschaseaux E (2012) Dimethylsulfide, Climate and Coral Reef Ecosystems. 12th International Coral Reef Symposium proceeding, 2012

Non-refereed publication

Deschaseaux E, Yoshida C and Norris R (2009) Biological effects of chlorinated water released into the Queanbeyan River in October 2009. Report to ActewAGL Corporation.

Deschaseaux E and Norris R (2009) Biological response to environmental flows below Corin, Bendora and Googong Dams, Spring 2009. Report to ActewAGL Corporation.

White H, Deschaseaux E and Norris R (2009) Riffle Maintenance Flows below dams on the Cotter River, May, August and October 2007. Report to ActewAGL Corporation.

White H, Deschaseaux E and Norris R (2009) Biological response to environmental flows below Corin, Bendora and Googong Dams and low flows below the Cotter Dam, Autumn 2009. Report to ActewAGL Corporation.

White H, Deschaseaux E and Norris R (2008) Biological response to environmental flows below Corin, Bendora and Googong Dams and low flows below the Cotter Dam, Spring 2008. Report to ActewAGL Corporation.

Thesis

2013 Dimethylated sulphur compounds in Acropora corals: antioxidant response and implications for climate regulation - PhD thesis.

2007 Climate change induced stress: the effect of temperature and salinity on gastropod egg masses - Honours thesis.

2006 Wireless wave emission on Rat Anxiety - Master thesis.

Conferences

2012 12th International Coral Reef Symposium, Cairns Convention Centre, Cairns, QLD - 9th/13th July.

2010 First Australian Earth System Outlook conference, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT - 9th/10th December.

2010 85th Annual ACRS conference, National Marine Science Centre, Coffs Harbour, NSW - 10th/12th September.

2007 Poster presentation - 15th annual RACI environmental and analytical division R&D topics, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA - 9th/12th December. Climate change induced stress: the effects of temperature and salinity on Gastropod egg masses.