Bill Nilsson, NOAA NWFSC

Photo Credit: Meghan Shea

Mission Scientist, Marine Biotoxins Program, NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Bio: I’m a Research Chemist with the Marine Microbes and Toxins Program at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle. After receiving a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from UC Santa Barbara in 1982 and postdoctoral studies at the University of Washington, I began my career at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center in 1984. My early research involved lipid and protein purification, but I switched to microbiology (primarily working on species of marine bacteria in the genus Vibrio) in the mid 90’s. Recently, I’ve been focused on microbial ecology – again, mostly with Vibrio species.  Previously I’ve participated in sampling cruises on the relatively serene Gulf of Mexico, but I have never been on a Pacific Cruise. Should be bracing!

Bill on land (Paris, 2011). Photo Credit: Bill Nilsson

What I’m doing on this cruise: With my NOAA colleague Linda Rhodes, I’ll be looking at the communities of marine bacteria in the water samples we collect as we cruise northward from San Francisco, CA to Haida Gwaii, BC. We’re interested in seeing how bacterial abundance, bacterial community structures, and heterotrophic production are responding to changes in ocean chemistry and temperature along the U.S. West Coast.

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