Sacha Coesel


Research Scientist

coesel at

Research Interests

I am a molecular biologist and bioinformatician. I use environmental metatranscriptomics data to unravel the molecular secrets of open ocean plankton. I am passionate about photobiology and chronobiology and understanding 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 -

Flavobacterial exudates disrupt cell cycle progression and metabolism of the diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana The ISME Journal 2022-12 | Journal article DOI: 10.1038/s41396-022-01313-9 CONTRIBUTORS: Zinka Bartolek; Shiri Graff van Creveld; Sacha Coesel; Kelsy R. Cain; Megan Schatz; Rhonda Morales; E. Virginia Armbrust

Divergent functions of two clades of flavodoxin in diatoms mitigate oxidative stress and iron limitation 2022-10-21 | Preprint DOI: 10.1101/2022.10.18.512804 CONTRIBUTORS: Shiri Graff van Creveld; Sacha N. Coesel; Stephen Blaskowski; Ryan D. Groussman; Megan J. Schatz; E. Virginia Armbrust

The dynamic trophic architecture of open-ocean protist communities revealed through machine-guided metatranscriptomics Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2022-02-15 | Journal article DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2100916119 CONTRIBUTORS: Bennett S. Lambert; Ryan D. Groussman; Megan J. Schatz; Sacha N. Coesel; Bryndan P. Durham; Andrew J. Alverson; Angelicque E. White; E. Virginia Armbrust

Complex marine microbial communities partition metabolism of scarce resources over the diel cycle Nature Ecology & Evolution 2022-01-20 | Journal article DOI: 10.1038/s41559-021-01606-w CONTRIBUTORS: Daniel Muratore; Angela K. Boysen; Matthew J. Harke; Kevin W. Becker; John R. Casey; Sacha N. Coesel; Daniel R. Mende; Samuel T. Wilson; Frank O. Aylward; John M. Eppley et al.

Diel-Regulated Transcriptional Cascades of Microbial Eukaryotes in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre Frontiers in Microbiology 2021-09-29 | Journal article DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2021.682651 Part of ISSN: 1664-302X

Diel transcriptional oscillations of light-sensitive regulatory elements in open-ocean eukaryotic plankton communities Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2021-02-09 | Journal article DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2011038118 CONTRIBUTORS: Sacha N. Coesel; Bryndan P. Durham; Ryan D. Groussman; Sarah K. Hu; David A. Caron; Rhonda L. Morales; François Ribalet; E. Virginia Armbrust

Community-scale Synchronization and Temporal Partitioning of Gene Expression, Metabolism, and Lipid Biosynthesis in Oligotrophic Ocean Surface Waters 2020-05-16 | Other DOI: 10.1101/2020.05.15.098020 CONTRIBUTORS: Daniel Muratore; Angie K. Boysen; Matthew J. Harke; Kevin W. Becker; John R. Casey; Sacha N. Coesel; Daniel R. Mende; Samuel T. Wilson; Frank O. Aylward; John M. Eppley et al.

Fe limitation decreases transcriptional regulation over the diel cycle in the model diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana PLOS ONE 2019-09-11 | Journal article DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0222325 Part of ISSN: 1932-6203 CONTRIBUTORS: Johanna A. L. Goldman; Megan J. Schatz; Chris T. Berthiaume; Sacha N. Coesel; Mónica V. Orellana; E. Virginia Armbrust; Douglas A. Campbell

Sulfonate-based networks between eukaryotic phytoplankton and heterotrophic bacteria in the surface ocean Nature Microbiology 2019-07 | Journal article DOI: 10.1038/s41564-019-0507-5 Part of ISSN: 2058-5276 CONTRIBUTORS: Bryndan P. Durham; Angela K. Boysen; Laura T. Carlson; Ryan D. Groussman; Katherine R. Heal; Kelsy R. Cain; Rhonda L. Morales; Sacha N. Coesel; Robert M. Morris; Anitra E. Ingalls et al.

Genome-wide diel growth state transitions in the diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2013-04 | Journal article DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1300962110 Part of ISSN: 0027-8424 CONTRIBUTORS: J. Ashworth; S. Coesel; A. Lee; E. V. Armbrust; M. V. Orellana; N. S. Baliga

An atypical member of the light-harvesting complex stress-related protein family modulates diatom responses to light Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2010-10-04 | Journal article DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1007703107 Part of ISSN: 0027-8424 CONTRIBUTORS: B. Bailleul; A. Rogato; A. de Martino; S. Coesel; P. Cardol; C. Bowler; A. Falciatore; G. Finazzi

Diatom PtCPF1 is a new cryptochrome/photolyase family member with DNA repair and transcription regulation activity EMBO reports 2009-05-08 | Journal article DOI: 10.1038/embor.2009.59 Part of ISSN: 1469-221X CONTRIBUTORS: Sacha Coesel; Manuela Mangogna; Tomoko Ishikawa; Marc Heijde; Alessandra Rogato; Giovanni Finazzi; Takeshi Todo; Chris Bowler; Angela Falciatore

The Phaeodactylum genome reveals the evolutionary history of diatom genomes Nature 2008-10 | Journal article DOI: 10.1038/nature07410 Part of ISSN: 0028-0836 CONTRIBUTORS: Chris Bowler; Andrew E. Allen; Jonathan H. Badger; Jane Grimwood; Kamel Jabbari; Alan Kuo; Uma Maheswari; Cindy Martens; Florian Maumus; Robert P. Otillar et al.

Evolutionary Origins and Functions of the Carotenoid Biosynthetic Pathway in Marine Diatoms PLoS ONE 2008-08-06 | Journal article DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002896 Part of ISSN: 1932-6203 CONTRIBUTORS: Sacha Coesel; Miroslav Oborník; Joao Varela; Angela Falciatore; Chris Bowler; Lennart Randau

Isolation and characterization of a stress-inducible Dunaliella salina Lcy-β gene encoding a functional lycopene β-cyclase Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 2008-07-01 | Journal article DOI: 10.1007/s00253-008-1492-4 Part of ISSN: 0175-7598 CONTRIBUTORS: Ana Ramos; Sacha Coesel; Ana Marques; Marta Rodrigues; Alexandra Baumgartner; João Noronha; Amélia Rauter; Bertram Brenig; João Varela

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 Marine Biotechnology 2008-05-01 | Journal article DOI: 10.1007/s10126-008-9100-2 Part of ISSN: 1436-2228 CONTRIBUTORS: Sacha Nicole Coesel; Alexandra Cordeiro Baumgartner; Licia Marlene Teles; Ana Alexandra Ramos; Nuno Miguel Henriques; Leonor Cancela; João Carlos Serafim Varela

Molecular toolbox for studying diatom biology in Phaeodactylum tricornutum Gene 2007 | Journal article DOI: 10.1016/j.gene.2007.05.022 Part of ISSN: 0378-1119 CONTRIBUTORS: Magali Siaut; Marc Heijde; Manuela Mangogna; Anton Montsant; Sacha Coesel; Andrew Allen; Alessandro Manfredonia; Angela Falciatore; Chris Bowler

IDENTIFICATION AND COMPARATIVE GENOMIC ANALYSIS OF SIGNALING AND REGULATORY COMPONENTS IN THE DIATOMTHALASSIOSIRA PSEUDONANA Journal of Phycology 2007-06 | Journal article DOI: 10.1111/j.1529-8817.2007.00342.x Part of ISSN: 0022-3646 CONTRIBUTORS: Anton Montsant; Andrew E. Allen; Sacha Coesel; Alessandra De Martino; Angela Falciatore; Manuela Mangogna; Magali Siaut; Marc Heijde; Kamel Jabbari; Uma Maheswari et al.