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Laboratoire d'Océanographie Microbienne
UMR 7621





CNRS Researcher

Laboratoire d'Océanographie Microbienne (LOMIC) - UMR 7621 CNRS-UPMC

Avenue Fontaulé - 66650 Banyuls sur mer, France

Tél: 33 (0)4 68 88 73 53

E-mail: ortegaretuerta @


Research ID : I-2432-2015

At present, the ocean absorbs 30% of anthropogenic CO2. The ocean contains an amount of carbon in the form of oceanic organic matter (OM, 660 Gt) similar to that in atmospheric CO2 (829 Gt). A net oxidation of only 1% of the seawater OM pool in one year would be enough to produce a CO2 flux larger than that coming annually from fossil fuel combustion.

I am interested in the linkage between organic matter and microbes across aquatic ecosystems, mostly in the ocean. In particular, I look at how heterotrophic microbes (bacteria and archaea) shape organic matter quality and how this affects key processes: Light transmission through the water column, carbon and particle vertical fluxes, air-sea interactions, microbial colonization and structuring. I test how these processes occur in a climate change context; looking at effects of e.g. aerosol inputs, UV radiation, temperature, or ice melting. Although not exclusively, I focus my research in areas that are particularly vulnerable to global change: The Mediterranean Sea and polar oceans (both Arctic and Antarctic). On these topics I did my PhD at the University of Granada (Spain) and postdocs at LOMIC and Marine Science Institute (Barcelona)

We have recently obtained a Marie Curie intra-european fellowship to work at LOMIC for two years. My research project, entitled “Unravelling the microbial carbon pump in the ocean: Linkage between gene expression and RDOM generation by marine bacteria (CARAMBA)”, and will aim to explain the underlying mechanisms of the so-called microbial carbon pump, or why heterotrophic microbes produce recalcitrant organic matter and how this is stored in the ocean’s interior.


5 Selected publications:

Ortega-Retuerta E., Passow U., Duarte C.M. Reche I. 2009. Effects of Ultraviolet B radiation on (not so) Transparent Exopolymer Particles. Biogeosciences 6(12):3071-3080

Ortega-Retuerta E, Frazer TK, Duarte CM, Ruiz-Halpern S, Tovar-Sánchez A, Arrieta JM, Reche I. 2009. Biogeneration of chromophoric dissolved organic matter by bacteria and krill in the Southern Ocean. Limnology and Oceanography 54(6): 1941-1950.

Ortega-Retuerta, E., F. Joux, W. H. Jeffrey, and J.-F. Ghiglione. Spatial variability of particle-attached and free-living bacterial diversity in surface waters from the Mackenzie River to the Beaufort Sea (Canadian Arctic). Biogeosciences 10, 2747-2759

Arrigo, K.R., Perovich, D.K., Pickart, R.S., Brown, Z.W., van Dijken, G.L., Lowry, K.E., Mills, M.M., Palmer, M.A., Balch, W.M., Bahr, F., Bates, N.R., Benitez-Nelson, C., Bowler, B., Brownlee, E., Ehn, J.K., Frey, K.E., Garley, R., Laney, S.R., Lubelczyk, L., Mathis, J., Matsuoka, A., Mitchell, B.G., Moore, G.W.K., Ortega-Retuerta, E., Pal, S., Polashenski, C.M., Reynolds, R.A., Schieber, B., Sosik, H.M., Stephens, M., Swift, J.H., 2012. Massive Phytoplankton Blooms Under Arctic Sea Ice. Science 336, 1408.

Catala TS, Reche I, Fuentes-Lema A, Romera-Castillo C,Nieto-Cid MM, Ortega-Retuerta E, Calvo E, Álvarez M, Marrase C, Stedmon CA,  Alvarez-Salgado XA. 2015. Turnover time of fluorescent dissolved organic matter in the dark global ocean. Nature Communications, 6. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms6986.

For a complete list of publication go to my Google scholar profile:



Traductions :

    Le LOMIC en chiffres

    8 Chercheurs CNRS
    4 Enseignant-chercheurs

    2 Chercheurs accueillis

    9 Tech/Ingénieurs

    2 AI CDD
    5 Post doctorants
    9 Etudiants en thèse