Berdalet, Elisa


I conducted my PhD thesis under the supervision of Dr. Marta Estrada at the ICM (1987-1991), focussed on phytoplankton ecophysiology. During my postdoc at the Institute Maurice Lamontagne in Québec I worked on bacterial respiration (1991-1993). I got a permanent position at the ICM in 1996.

Along my scientific life I have been attracted by many aspects that require a multidisciplinary approach: how can we characterize the physiological state of the different marine microorganisms? How do inorganic and organic nutrients combined with physical forcing structure the microplankton community? What are the physical, chemical and biological factors that interplay and modulate the dynamics of harmful microalgal blooms? What are the effects of small-scale turbulence on dinoflagellate ecophysiology (cell division, toxin and DMSP production, encystment, ...)? To address these questions, I have been directly involved, on one hand, in setting up and developing chemical and biochemical tools. On the other, in order to implement the required multidisciplinary approach, I have collaborated with a diversity of researchers having different expertise and interests.

Since 2009, I am vice-chair of the SCOR/IOC-UNESCO program GEOHAB, Global Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms. Since 2009, I am Deputy Director of the Institut de Ciències del Mar (CSIC) of Barcelona.

My personal webpage is available at


3 selected publications

E. Berdalet, M.A. McManus, O.N. Ross, H. Burchard, F.P. Chavez, J.S. Jaffe, I.R. Jenkinson, R. Kudela, I. Lips, U. Lips, A. Lucas, D. Rivas, M.C. Ruiz-de la Torre, J. Ryan, J.M. Sullivan, H. Yamazaki. 2014. Understanding Harmful Algae in Stratified Systems: Review of Progress and Future Directions. Special volume "Harmful Algal Blooms in Stratified Systems", R. Raine, E. Berdalet, M. McManus, H. Yamazaki. Deep-Sea Research, Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography 101: 4-20,

E. Berdalet, P. Tester, A. Zingone (Eds.) GEOHAB 2012. Global Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms, GEOHAB Core Research Project: HABs in Benthic Systems. IOC of UNESCO and SCOR, Paris and Newark, 64 pp. Free download at:

Berdalet, E., Llaveria, G., Simó, R. (2011) Modulation of small-scale turbulence on methylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) concentration in an Alexandrium minutum (Dinophyceae) culture: link with toxin production. Harmful Algae 10: 88-95. doi:10.1016/j.hal.2011.08.003.

Main discipline(s)

- Phytoplankton ecology and physiology
- Harmful Algal Blooms
- Physical-biological Interactions in marine ecosystems at small and mesoscales
- Biochemical indicators of the physiological state of microplankton (bacteria, phytoplankton, microzooplankton, fish larvae, fish tissues)
- Biogeochemical cycles (Carbon, Phosphorus, DMSP)


Phytoplankton, Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs), Physical-biological Interactions, microplankton physiology

Professional biography

1997 - present Tenured Scientist (permanent position at the CSIC)
1993 - 1996 Postdoctoral researcher (ICM, CSIC)
1991 - 1993 Postdoctoral researcher (Maurice Lamontagne Institute, Québec)
1987 - 1991 Predoctoral student (ICM, CSIC)
1987 Visitor (3 months): Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, US
1989 Visitor (3 months): Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, US
1995 Visitor (3 months): Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, US

Responsibilities and Services

2009 - present Vice-director of the ICM (CSIC)
2009 - present Head of the Nutrient Analysis Service of the ICM
2009 - present Member of the Coordination Committee of the joint "Marine Sciences" Doctorate Programme (University of Barcelona - Polytechnic University of Catalonia - CSIC)
2009 - 2012 Member of the Coordination Committee of the "Marine Sciences: Oceanography and Littoral Management" Master Program of the University of Barcelona
2012 - present Vice-chair of the Scientific Steering Committee of the SCOR and IOC/UNESCO Program "GEOHAB" (Global Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms,
2008-2010 Member of the SSC of the SCOR and IOC/UNESCO Program GEOHAB
2005 - 2009 Convenor of sessions focussed on physical-biological interactions in aquatic ecosystems in the ASLO2009, EGU2005, EGU2006, EGU2007 and EGU2008.

Teaching experience

Thesis supervision:
- on going PhD Norma Z. Neszi (University of Barcelona)
- on going PhD Mireia L. Artigas (University of Barcelona)
- 2009, PhD Gisela Llaveria Almacelles, PhD (Polytechnic University of Catalonia)
- 2006, Master Linda Bolli, (University of Zürich)
- 1997, Master Kristine Lysnes, (University of Bergen)

Professorship in relevant courses

- 2013, November INDO-MARECLIM winter school on climate change and variability, marine ecosystems and coastal zone management”, Cochin, India
- 2013, July The Margalef summer Colloquia (ICM, Barcelona)
- 2008 - 2012 Phytoplankton Ecology, Master Course (University of Barcelona)
- 2009 - 2011 Ecology of Marine Microorganisms, Master Course (University of Barcelona)
- 2006 - 2012 Ecology of Marine Microorganisms, Master Course (University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria)

Connect with us

We're on Social Networks. Follow us & get in touch.

Contact us

For any inquiries, please contact us by phone or email at: