Fabio Benedetti

PostDoc, ETHZ, Switzerland


  • Macroecology

  • Biodiversity

  • Climate change

  • Plankton functional traits

  • Data analysis and empirical modelling

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Short BIO

Hi there! After completing my PhD in marine ecology from Sorbonne Universités (France) in 2016, I joined the Environmental Physics group of Pr. N. Gruber at ETH Zürich (Switzerland) as a postdoc in 2018. For ten years, my research has focused on the impact of climate change on the taxonomic and functional diversity of plankton (especially copepods), on local, regional and global scales. As a macroecologist, I rely on observational data to investigate the responses of plankton communities to changes in environmental conditions, such as ocean warming, through various statistical approaches. I joined AtlantECO since its beginning in 2021 When I am not busy writing R code on my terminal or trying to finish papers, you can find me in the mountains of Glarus, Graubünden or Ticino. Unfortunately, alpine lakes are not void of copepods so I still think about those often… 

Role in AtlantECO

Within AtlantECO, I am currently collecting and curating extensive datasets of plankton biological observations (species distribution, concentration and carbon biomass) taken throughout the oceans. These will be used to estimate the patterns and drivers of plankton diversity and plankton biomass in the Atlantic Ocean through data-driven statistical models. In combination with novel observations of carbon fluxes, floating plastics concentrations and plankton genomes, this data compilation will help unravel the contemporary (and future) state of the Atlantic microbiome and the ecosystem services it provides.

I am mainly contributing to Work Package 2. I am working with Meike Vogt and Hugo Sarmento on the compilation and modelling of the variables that will be of interest for AtlantECO partners Therefore, I am mainly involved in tasks 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 of AtlantECO (i.e., define common standards of data assembly, data compilation according to said standards and mapping of essential variables, like species diversity, that can be derived from the data compiled).  

AtlantECO Results

One year into the project, a tremendous amount of plankton observations has been compiled (see here for an example). I have curated and reformatted the main publicly available datasets of plankton observations described from traditional in situ surveys and cruises (OBIS and GBIF, CPR surveys, NMSF-COPEPOD data from NOAA, KRILLBASE, JeDI, as well as the available data from the AMT cruises but also Tara Oceans and MALASPINA, etc.).


In parallel, my work has contributed to the publication of the horizontal and vertical patterns of zooplankton composition and size structure derived from the global imaging datasets of the TARA Oceans cruises.


Last but not least, together with my colleagues from ETH Zürich, I lead a large scale study examining the responses of phyto- and zooplankton species richness and composition to future climate change(s) in the surface open ocean.