Elisa Schaum

Research Group

Member of Dr Gabriel Yvon-Durocher's research group

View my Publications

Dr Elisa Schaum

Associate Research Fellow


An oceanographer by training I joined the dark side of experimental evolution during my PhD. I am very interested in finding out how marine microbial organisms evolve in an ever-changing ocean and the repercussions thereof on an organismal and ecosystem level. We are only beginning to understand how phytoplankton or phytoplankton communities evolve in response to an increasingly weird environment, and much of the life history that contributes to the evolutionary dynamics of marine phytoplankton and hence stability of ocean ecosystems remains unknown.  In order to determine how the mechanistic basis for thermal responses in marine phytoplankton evolves, I am performing long-term selection experiments in Dr Gabriel Yvon-Durocher’s group, where we use (among other phytoplankton) diatoms, which are not only breathtakingly beautiful, but also play a key role in determining whether oceans take up or breathe out carbon dioxide.

I am part of the Equality and Diversity working group for the Penryn Campus.

I am also a member of the Biosciences department in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences.

Research publication titles

Research interests

  • Marine microbes and viruses
  • Experimental evolution in complex environments
  • Marine ecology
  • Life history of natural phytoplankton communities

Current Projects

  • thermal adaptation of marine algae
  • evolution in wild and laboratory algal communities
  • the consequences of algae life history on evolution of phytoplankton communities


2014 PhD in Evolutionary Biology (University of Edinburgh)
Post Graduate Degree in Biology (Scottish Association for Marine Science/ University of Rostock)

Contact details

Email  c.l.schaum@exeter.ac.uk
Building Environment and Sustainability Institute
Room 1.03
Address University of Exeter
Penryn Campus
Cornwall TR10 9FE