Dr Kristen Karsh

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Kristen Karsh is a postdoctoral fellow with the Environomics Future Science Platform 'Microbes in Healthy Waterways' project. Kristen’s current research tests potential molecular and chemical proxies of bacterial nitrogen cycling. Through mechanistic laboratory studies and in situ sampling, she examines correlations between process rates (e.g. denitrification), and bacterial community composition, functional gene abundance, organic carbon bioavailability, and isotopic fractionation in organic nitrogen and dissolved nitrate. Kristen collaborates with biogeochemical modellers to improve the functioning of bacterial nitrogen processes in CSIRO’s core ecosystem models and to integrate the environomic and isotopic measures she and others develop.

Kristen (re-)joined CSIRO in March 2018. She has a BSc degree in geology & geophysics from Yale University, a MSc in marine and Antarctic studies from the University of Tasmania, and a PhD in biogeochemistry awarded through a joint program between the University of Tasmania and Princeton University. From her base at CSIRO during her PhD, Kristen researched how environmental conditions and the physiological state of microalgae influenced fractionation of the nitrogen and oxygen isotopes of nitrate. The research both improved interpretation of nitrate isotopes in the Southern Ocean and other marine environments, and revealed an unexpected role for nitrate within the microalgal cell.

Current Roles

  • Postdoctoral Fellow
    Environomics Future Science Platform, Microbes in Healthy Waterways Project

Academic Qualifications

  • 2014

    PhD, Biogeochemistry
    Princeton University and University of Tasmania

  • 2006

    MSc, Biogeochemistry
    Princeton University

  • 2004

    MSc, Marine and Antarctic Science
    University of Tasmania

  • 1998

    BSc, Geology and Geophysics
    Yale University

Professional Experiences

  • 2015-2018

    Marine Microbial Physiologist
    Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems CRC

  • 2014-2017

    Guest Lecturer and Tutor, Marine Science
    University of Tasmania

  • 2003-2006

    Lecturer, Science Communication
    University of Tasmania

  • 2002-2003

    Project Manager, Scientific Communication Skills, Faculty of Science, Engineering & Technology
    University of Tasmania

  • 1998-2000

    Science Literacy Coordinator, Earth and Antarctic Science
    American Museum of Natural History