Daniel Salter

Publication Date

Fall 2023

Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Science in Bioinformatics (MSBI)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Philip Heller

Second Advisor

Shellie Bench

Third Advisor

Wendy Lee


Marine bacteria, taxonomic classification, 16S rRNA, climate variation effects, Western Antarctic Peninsula


This project surveys the metagenomic bacterial community composition in marine surface waters off Palmer Station, Western Antarctic Peninsula and correlates findings with temperature and salinity data. Marine bacterial communities play a vital role in nutrient cycling, but data on surface waters in this region are limited. Analyzing fifteen samples of 16S sequencing data from three austral summers, consistent dominance was observed by the classes Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, and Flavobacteria. Correlation analysis confirmed significant relationships between taxa and environmental conditions. The observed trends suggest varying abilities of phyla to resist and adapt to changing environmental conditions. Notably, Alphaproteobacteria demonstrated adaptability to favorable conditions, contrasting with Flavobacteria's resistance. The study contributes insights into the responses of bacterial communities in the Western Antarctic Peninsula to climate variation.