Sacha Coesel


Research Scientist

coesel at

Research Interests

I use environmental metatranscriptomics data to unravel the molecular secrets of open ocean plankton. I am passionate about photobiology and chronobiology and the daily cycles of life in the ocean.


  • 2008 - Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, University of Algarve (Portugal). Thesis title: Regulation of the carotenoid biosynthetic pathway in the green microalga Dunaliella salina and the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.4111.7049
  • 1999 - B.Sc. in Biotechnology, Noordelijke Hogeschool Leeuwarden (Netherlands).

Positions Held

  • Research scientist, School of Oceanography, University of Washington (USA), 2016-Present
  • Postdoctoral research fellow, Institute for Systems Biology (USA), 2015-2016
  • Postdoctoral research fellow, Institute for Systems Biology (USA), 2008
  • Graduate research assistant, Stazione Zoologica ‘Anton Dohrn’ (Italy), 2004-2008
  • Graduate research assistant, Centre of Marine Sciences, University of Algarve (Portugal), 2001-2004
  • Research technician, Centre of Marine Sciences, University of Algarve (Portugal), 1999-2001
  • Undergraduate research assistant, Centre of Marine Sciences, University of Algarve (Portugal), 1999
  • Undergraduate research assistant, Faculty of Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Netherlands), 1998

Publications -

Groussman, RD, Coesel, SN, Durham, BP, Schatz, MJ and Armbrust, EV. The North Pacific Eukaryotic Gene Catalog of metatranscriptome assemblies and annotations. Sci. Data. Submitted

Graff van Creveld S, Coesel SN, Schatz MJ, Armbrust EV. New eukaryotic phytoplankton isolates from the oligotrophic tropical Pacific Ocean. J Phycol. April 2024. doi:10.1111/jpy.13447

Coesel SN. More than a photoreceptor: aureochromes are intrinsic to the diatom light- regulated transcriptional network. J Exp Bot. 2024;75(7):1786-1790. doi:10.1093/jxb/erae004

Dutkiewicz S, Follett CL, Follows MJ, Henderikx‐Freitas F, Ribalet F, Gradoville MR, Coesel SN , et al. Multiple biotic interactions establish phytoplankton community structure across environmental gradients. Limnol Oceanogr. March 2024:1-15. doi:10.1002/lno.12555

Groussman RD, Blaskowski S, Coesel SN, Armbrust E V. MarFERReT, an open-source, version-controlled reference library of marine microbial eukaryote functional genes. Sci Data. 2023;10(1):926. doi:10.1038/s41597-023-02842-4

Graff van Creveld S, Coesel SN, Blaskowski S, Groussman RD, Schatz MJ, Armbrust EV. Divergent functions of two clades of flavodoxin in diatoms mitigate oxidative stress and iron limitation. Elife. 2023;12:1-24. doi:10.7554/eLife.84392

Bartolek Z, Creveld SG van, Coesel S, et al. Flavobacterial exudates disrupt cell cycle progression and metabolism of the diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana. ISME J. September 2022:1-8. doi:10.1038/s41396-022-01313-9

Lambert BS, Groussman RD, Schatz MJ, Coesel SN, et al. The dynamic trophic architecture of open-ocean protist communities revealed through machine-guided metatranscriptomics. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2022;119(7):e2100916119. doi:10.1073/pnas.2100916119

Muratore D, Boysen AK, Harke MJ, Becker KJ, Casey JR, Coesel SN, et al. Complex marine microbial communities partition metabolism of scarce resources over the diel cycle. Nat Ecol Evol. January 2022. doi:10.1038/s41559-021-01606-w

Groussman RD, Coesel SN, Durham BP, Armbrust EV. Diel-Regulated Transcriptional Cascades of Microbial Eukaryotes in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. Front Microbiol. 2021;12(September):1-15. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2021.682651

Coesel SN, Durham BP, Groussman RD, et al. Diel transcriptional oscillations of light- sensitive regulatory elements in open-ocean eukaryotic plankton communities. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2021;118(6):e2011038118. doi:10.1073/pnas.2011038118

Goldman JAL, Schatz MJ, Berthiaume CT, Coesel SN, Orellana M V., Armbrust EV. Fe limitation decreases transcriptional regulation over the diel cycle in the model diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana. Campbell DA, ed. PLoS One. 2019;14(9):e0222325. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0222325

Durham BP, Boysen AK, Carlson LT, Groussman RD, Heal KR, Cain KR, Morales RL, Coesel SN, et al. Sulfonate-based networks between eukaryotic phytoplankton and heterotrophic bacteria in the surface ocean. Nat Microbiol. 2019;4(10):1706-1715. doi:10.1038/s41564-019-0507-5

Ashworth J, Coesel S, Lee A, Armbrust EVV, Orellana M V., Baliga NS. Genome-wide diel growth state transitions in the diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2013;110(18):7518-7523. doi:10.1073/pnas.1300962110

Bailleul B, Rogato A, De Martino A, Coesel SN, et al. An atypical member of the light- harvesting complex stress-related protein family modulates diatom responses to light. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010;107(42):18214-18219. doi:10.1073/pnas.1007703107

Coesel S, Mangogna M, Ishikawa T, et al. Diatom PtCPF1 is a new cryptochrome/photolyase family member with DNA repair and transcription regulation activity. EMBO Rep. 2009;10(6):655-661. doi:10.1038/embor.2009.59

Bowler C, Allen AE, Badger JH, Grimwood J, Jabbari K, Kuo A, Maheswari U, Martens C, Maumus F, Otillar RP, Rayko E, Salamov A, Vandepoele K, Beszteri B, Gruber A, Heijde M, Katinka M, Mock T, Valentin K, Verret F, Berges JA, Brownlee C, Cadoret JP, Chiovitti A, Choi CJ, Coesel S, et al. The Phaeodactylum genome reveals the evolutionary history of diatom genomes. Nature. 2008;456(7219):239-244. doi:10.1038/nature07410

Coesel S, Oborník M, Varela J, et al. Evolutionary origins and functions of the carotenoid biosynthetic pathway in marine diatoms. PLoS One. 2008;3(8):e2896. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002896

Ramos A, Coesel S, Marques A, et al. Isolation and characterization of a stress- inducible Dunaliella salina Lcy-β gene encoding a functional lycopene β-cyclase. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2008;79(5). doi:10.1007/s00253-008-1492-4

Coesel SN, Baumgartner ACC, Teles LMM, et al. Nutrient limitation is the main regulatory factor for carotenoid accumulation and for Psy and Pds steady state transcript levels in Dunaliella salina (Chlorophyta) exposed to high light and salt stress. Mar Biotechnol. 2008;10(5):602-611. doi:10.1007/s10126-008-9100-2

Siaut M, Heijde M, Mangogna M, MOntsant A, Coesel S, et al. Molecular toolbox for studying diatom biology in Phaeodactylum tricornutum. Gene. 2007;406(1-2):23-35. doi:10.1016/j.gene.2007.05.022

Montsant A, Allen AE, Coesel S, et al. ). Identification and comparative genomic analysis of signaling and regulatory components in the diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana. J Phycol. 2007;43(3):585-604. doi:10.1111/j.1529-8817.2007.00342.x