Microbes constitute the bulk of the biodiversity and biomass on Earth and have critical impacts on the function of ecosystems. In order to understand relationships between microbial eukaryotes within the planktonic food web, my goals are to characterize the diversity (taxonomic and function) and spatiotemporal variability of the microbial community. This includes, but is not limited to, examining the trophic links between protist (or microbial eukaryotes) and both phyto- and zooplankton. I also aim to capture species-specific relationships within the planktonic food web through analyses of prey-predator interactions and microcosm experiments. I use a combination of microscopy, molecular tools (e.g. amplicon, transcriptomes), and bioinformatics to explore these questions. Together, these approaches increase our understanding of the dynamics underlying the microbial portion of marine food webs. In the Sanders lab, I explore the role of mixotrophy on polar environments, especially in Antarctica.