Living Data

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Living Data

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University of Technology, Sydney Main Entrance Foyer, 3 Sept 2014 - 20 Nov 2014
In Ultimo Science Festival, Sydney3-12 Sept 2014


  Charlotte Robinson

What inspires my work? Science is another way of looking at the world. Even the simplest things are so beautiful, and the really intricate processes that are driving them, and being part of contributing to some broader understanding.

Charlotte Robinson with Kirralee Baker
The Muse Living Data exhibition 2013
Photo: Jayne Ion



My thesis is like a drop in the ocean compared to the mass of scientific knowledge, but someone somewhere is going to read it in time and say Oh, cool, I need to know that. But really, my project IS really cool. I like the technology I'm using. I fell in love with that when I was doing my undergrad. I thought the machines were really wicked... and photosynthesis is my favourise biochemical process. It's so important and the things that do it are so inconsequential [in scale] when you think of the size of the earth. They do so much, so understanding that is really really interesting.

I'm a phytoplankton ecologist studying the distribution of marine microbes and their carbon fixation. After completing an honours research project investigating the success of specialized phytoplankton communities living deep in the water column, I decided to pursue the areas of photobiology and biological oceanography to learn more about phytoplankton plasticity in optical niches of marine waters.

My project combines skills in bio-optics, chlorophyll-a fluorescence, radio-isotope and stable isotope analysis (14C, 13C, 15N), HPLC pigment analysis and flow cytometry to better understand the physiology underlying acclimation of phytoplankton to changes in the spectral quality of light.

PhD candidate Charlotte Robinson
University of Technology, Sydney, Australia. 2014


Charlotte Robinson in conversation with Lisa Roberts, Anita Marosszeky, Anna Jaaniste, Tienne Simons, Arjun Verma, Nasim Shah Mohamadi and Caterina Mocciola at the University of Technology, Sydney.