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Dr. Astrid SchnetzerAssociate Professor
4148 Jordan Hall
Curriculum Vitae

M.S. - Zoology / Ecology, University of Vienna, Austria, 1996   
Ph.D. - Marine Biology, University of Vienna, Austria, 2001

My research interests are in protistan (phytoplankton and protozoa) and zooplankton ecology, molecular diversity, food web dynamics and biogeochemical cycling. I address research questions on how natural and anthropogenic processes (i.e. coastal eutrophication and ocean acidification) impact plankton assemblages and how changes in community structure and diversity impact matter and energy flux through aquatic systems. To discern the ecological and biogeochemical roles that plankton play I employ molecular and genetic techniques in combination with more traditional approaches (i.e. microscopy and culture) in the field and in laboratory experiments. Research opportunities have allowed me to investigate plankton assemblages in the Mediterranean Sea, the North Atlantic (Sargasso Sea), the north-eastern and equatorial Pacific and the Southern Ocean (Ross Sea).


Kim D.Y., Countway P.D., Jones A.C., Schnetzer A., Yamashita W., Tung C. and Caron D.A. (2014) Monthly to interannual variability of microbial eukaryote assemblages at four depths in the eastern North Pacific – ISME Journal, 8: 515-530

Schnetzer A., Jones B.H., Schaffner R.A., Cetinic I., Fitzpatrick E., Miller P.E. and Caron D.A. (2013) Coastal upwelling linked to toxic Pseudo-nitzschia australis blooms in Los Angeles coastal waters, 2005 – 2007 – Journal of Plankton Research, 35: 1080-1092.

Tatters A.O., Schnetzer A., Fu F., Lie A, David A. Caron and David A. Hutchins (2013) Short- versus long-term responses to changing CO2 in a coastal dinoflagellate bloom: implications for interspecific competitive interactions and community structure. – Evolution 67: 1879-1891

Stauffer B., Schnetzer A., Gellene A.G., Oberg C., Sukhatme G.S. and Caron D.A. (2013) Effects of an acute hypoxic event on microplankton community structure in a coastal harbor of Southern California – Estuaries and Coasts: 36: 135-148

Seubert E.L., Eagleton J., Donovan M., Schnetzer A., Cetnic I., Trussell S., Lauri L., Jones B.H. and Caron D.A. (2012) Algal toxins and reverse osmosis desalination operations: laboratory bench testing and field monitoring of domoic acid, saxitoxin, brevetoxin and okadaic acid – Water Research: 46: 6563-73

Stauffer B., Gellene A.G., Schnetzer A., Seubert E., Oberg C., Sukhatme G.S. and Caron D.A. (2012) An oceanographic, meterological and biological ‘perfect storm’ yields a massive fish kill – Marine Ecology Progress Series: 468: 231-243

Howard M.D.A., Jones A.C., Schnetzer A., Countway P.D., Tomas C., Kudela R.M., Hayashi K., Chia P. and Caron D.A. (2012) Quantitative real-time PCR for Cochlodinium fulvescens (Dinophyceae), a potentially harmful dinoflagellate from California Coastal waters – Journal of Phycology

Caron D.A., Countway P.D., Jones A.C., Kim D.Y. and Schnetzer A. (2012) Marine Protistan Diversity – Annual Review Marine Science: 4: 6.1-6.27

Garneau M.E., Schnetzer A., Countway P.D., Jones A.C., Seubert E. and Caron D.A. (2011) Seasonal dynamics of the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella in Redondo Beach, California, examined by quantitative PCR –Applied and Environmental Microbiology 77: 7669-7680

Schnetzer A., Moorthi S., Gast R.J., Countway P.D., Gilg I.C. and Caron D.A. (2011) Depth matters: Microbial eukaryote diversity and community structure in the eastern North Pacific as indicated by environmental gene libraries – Deep Sea Research I 58: 16-26

Countway P.D., Vigil P.D., Schnetzer A., Moorthi S.D. and Caron D.A. (2010) Seasonal analysis of protistan community structure and diversity at the USC microbial observatory (San Pedro Channel, North Pacific Ocean) – Limnology and Oceanography 55: 2381-2396

Fitzpatrick E., Caron D.A. and Schnetzer A. (2010) Development and environmental application of a genus-specific quantitative PCR approach for Pseudo-nitzschia species – Marine Biology 157:1161-1169

Smith R.N., Jnaneshwar D., Hordur H, Pereira A., Arrichiello P., Cetinic I., Darjany L., Garneau M., Howard M., Oberg C., Ragan M., Seubert E., Smith E.C., Stauffer B., Schnetzer A., Toro-Farmer G., Caron D.A., Jones B.H., Sukhatme G. (2010) USC CINAPS Builds Bridges: Observing and Monitoring the Southern California Bight– IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine; Mar 2010. Special Issue on Marine Robotic Systems

Caron D.A., Garneau M.-E., Seubert E., Howard M.D.A., Darjany L., Schnetzer A., Cetinic I., Filteau G., Lauri P., Jones B.H. and Trussell S. (2010) Harmful algae and their potential impacts on desalination operations off Southern California. – Water Research 44: 385-416

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