Dr Emilio Marañón

Associate Professor

Departamento de Ecología y Biología Animal

Universidade de Vigo

36310 Vigo, Spain

Phone: +34 986 812629



Education & employment

Research interests





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Education & employment

· BSc in Biology, Universidad de Oviedo (Spain), 1990

· PhD in Biological Oceanography, Universidad de Oviedo, 1995

· Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow, Southampton Oceanography Centre (UK), 1996-1998

· Associate Professor, Universidade de Vigo (Spain), 1999-present

· Scientific Researcher (CR1), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France), 2005-present (on leave)

Research interests

My research deals with the ecology and biogeochemical role of phytoplankton, the unicellular photosynthetic organisms that live in the surface waters of all aquatic ecosystems. In particular I focus on marine phytoplankton diversity and size structure, and key metabolic processes such as primary production, nitrogen fixation, calcification, and respiration. My approach is based on combining field measurements in coastal and oceanic waters, laboratory experiments, and data meta-analysis. The ultimate goal of this research is to obtain a mechanistic understanding of the linkage between environmental variability, community structure, and biogeochemical fluxes in the ecosystem. Current topics under investigation include:

· Size-scaling of phytoplankton abundance, growth and metabolism

· Role of temperature and resources in controlling metabolic rates

· Large-scale distribution of marine nitrogen fixation and calcification

· Biogeochemical variability in the subtropical gyres



Recent and on-going projects

· Dispersal, neutral models and community assembly in marine microbial plankton (DISTRAL). P. I.: P. Cermeño

· Macroecological patterns in marine phytoplankton (PERSEO). P. I.: E. Marañón

· Response of phytoplankton communities to historical climate change: effects on diversity and atmospheric CO2 levels. P. I.: P. Cermeño (U. Vigo)

· Circumnavigation Expedition Malaspina 2010: Global Change and Biodiversity Exploration of the Global Ocean. Coordinator: C. M. Duarte (CSIC). P. I. at U. Vigo.: E. Marañón

· Spatio-temporal variability in the synthesis, remineralization and export of organic carbon in the North Atlantic subtropical gyre. P. I.: B. Mouriño (U. Vigo)

· Production of dissolved organic carbon in the Mediterranean Sea (collaboration with BOUM project, coordinated by T. Moutin, CNRS). P. I.: E. Marañón

· Turbulence measurements along a latitudinal gradient in the Atlantic Ocean. P. I.: B. Mouriño

· Trichodesmium spp. and N2 fixation in the tropical Atlantic (TRYNITROP). P. I.: E. Marañón


PhD Theses supervised

· Pedro Cermeño (2006)

· María Huete-Ortega (2011)

· Ana Fernández (2013)

· Daffne C. López-Sandoval (2013)

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Peer-reviewed publications

65. de Leeuw G, Guieu C, Arneth A, Bellouin N, Bopp L, Boyd PW, van der Gon HACD, Desboeufs KV, Dulac F, Facchini MC, Gantt B, Langmann B, Mahowald NM, Marañón E, O’Dowd C, Olgun N, Pulido-Villena E, Rinaldi M, Stephanou EG, Wagener T (2014) Ocean-atmosphere interactions of particles. In: P.S. Liss and M.T. Johnson (eds.), Ocean-Atmosphere Interactions of Gases and Particles, Springer Earth System Sciences. image007

64. Rodríguez-Ramos T, Dornelas M, Marañón E, Cermeño P (2014) Conventional sampling methods severely underestimate phytoplankton species richness. Journal of Plankton Research, 36, 334-343. image007

63. Marañón E, Cermeño P, López-Sandoval DC, Rodríguez-Ramos T, Sobrino C, Huete-Ortega M, Blanco JM, Rodríguez J (2013) Unimodal size scaling of phytoplankton growth and the size dependence of nutrient uptake and use. Ecology Letters, 16, 371-379. image007 Recommended by F1000-post-publication peer review 

62. Cermeño P, Rodríguez-Ramos T, Dornelas M, Figueiras FG, Marañón E, Teixeira IG, Vallina S (2013) Species richness in marine phytoplankton communities is not correlated to ecosystem productivity. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 488, 1-9. image007

61. Moore CM, Mills MM, Arrigo KR Berman-Frank I, Bopp L, Boyd PW, Galbraith ED, Geider RJ, Guieu C, Jaccard SL, Jickells TD, La Roche J, Lenton TM, Mahowald NM, Marañón E, Marinov I, Moore JK, Nakatsuka T, Oschlies A, Saito MA, Thingstad TF, Tsuda A, Ulloa O (2013) Processes and patterns of oceanic nutrient limitation. Nature Geoscience, 6, 701-710. doi:10.1038/ngeo1765. image007 Supplementary Information image007

60. López-Sandoval DC, Rodríguez-Ramos T, Cermeño P, Marañón E (2013) Organic carbon exudation in marine phytoplankton: dependence on cell size and taxon. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 477, 53-60 image007

59. Martínez-García S, Fernández E, Calvo-Díaz A, Cermeño P, Marañón E, Morán XAG, Teira E (2013) Differential response of microbial plankton to nutrient inputs in oligotrophic versus mesotrophic waters of the North Atlantic. Marine Biology Research, 9, 358-370. image007

58. Cermeño P, Marañón E, Romero OE (2013) Response of marine diatom communities to Late Quaternary abrupt climate changes. Journal of Plankton Research, 35, 12-21. doi:10.1093/plankt/fbs073 image007

57. Wang X, Murtugudde R, Hackert E, Marañón E (2013) Phytoplankton carbon and chlorophyll distributions in the equatorial Pacific and Atlantic: A basin-scale comparative study. Journal of Marine Systems, 109-110, 138-148. image007

56. Marañón E, Cermeño P, Latasa M, Tadonléké RM (2012) Temperature, resources, and phytoplankton size structure in the ocean. Limnology and Oceanography, 57, 1266-1278. image007

55. Fernández A, Graña R, Mouriño-Carballido B, Bode A, Varela M, Domínguez-Yanes JF, Escánez J, de Armas D, Marañón E (2012) Community N2 fixation and Trichodesmium spp. abundance along longitudinal gradients in the eastern subtropical North Atlantic. ICES Journal of Marine Science, doi: 10.1093/icesjms/fss142. image007

54. Luo Y-W et al. (2012) Database of diazotrophs in global ocean: abundances, biomass and nitrogen fixation rates. Earth System Science Data, 4, 47-73. image007

53. Fernández-Castro B, Anderson L, Marañón E, Neuer S, Ausín B, González-Dávila M, Santana-Casiano JM, Cianca A, Santana R, Llinás O, Rueda MJ, Mouriño-Carballido B (2012) Regional differences in modelled net production and shallow remineralization in the North Atlantic subtropical Gyre. Biogeosciences, 9, 2831-2846. image007

52. Fraga S, Rodríguez F, Bravo I, Zapata M, Marañón E (2012) Review of the main ecological features affecting benthic dinoflagellate blooms. Cryptogamie, Algologie, 33, 171-179. image007

51. Huete-Ortega M, Cermeño P, Calvo-Díaz A, Marañón E (2012) Isometric size-scaling of metabolic rate and the size abundance distribution of phytoplankton. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 279, 1815-1823. doi:10.1098/rspb.2011.2257. image007

50. Calvo-Díaz A, Díaz-Pérez L, Suárez LA, Morán XAG, Teira E, Marañón E (2011) Decrease in the autotrophic-to-heterotrophic biomass ratio of picoplankton in oligotrophic marine waters due to bottle enclosure. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 77, 5739–5746. image007

49. Huete-Ortega M, Calvo-Díaz A, Mouriño-Carballido B, Graña R, Marañón E (2011) Effect of environmental forcing on the biomass, production and growth rate of size-fractionated phytoplankton in the central Atlantic Ocean. Journal of Marine Systems, 88, 203-130. image007

48. Mouriño-Carballido B, Graña R, Fernández A, Bode A, Varela M, Domínguez JF, Escánez J, de Armas D, Marañón E (2011) Importance of N2 fixation versus nitrate eddy diffusion along a latitudinal transect in the Atlantic Ocean. Limnology and Oceanography, 56, 999-1007. image007

47. Moreno-Ostos E, Fernández A, Huete-Ortega M, Mouriño-Carballido M, Calvo-Díaz A, Morán XAG, Marañón E (2011) Size-fractionated phytoplankton biomass and production in the tropical Atlantic. Scientia Marina, 75, 379-389. image007 

46. López-Sandoval DC, Fernández A, Marañón E (2011) Dissolved and particulate primary production along a longitudinal gradient in the Mediterranean Sea. Biogeosciences, 8, 815-825. image007

45. Marañón, E., Fernández, A., Mouriño-Carballido, B., Martínez-García, S., Teira, E., Cermeño, P., Chouciño, P., Huete-Ortega, M., Fernández, E., Calvo-Díaz, A., Morán, X. A. G., Bode, A., Moreno-Ostos, E., Varela, M. M., Patey, M. D., Achterberg, E. P. (2010). Degree of oligotrophy controls the response of microbial plankton to Saharan dust. Limnology and Oceanography, 55, 2339-2352. image007 Recommended by F1000-post-publication peer review 

44. Martínez-García, S., Fernández, E., Álvarez-Salgado, X. A., González, J., Lønborg, C., Marañón, E., Morán, X. A. G., Teira, E. (2010) Differential responses of phytoplankton and heterotrophic bacteria to organic and inorganic nutrient additions in coastal waters off the NW Iberian Peninsula. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 416, 17-33. image007

43. Fernández, A., Mouriño-Carballido, B., Bode, A., Varela, M., Marañón, E. (2010) Latitudinal distribution of Trichodesmium spp. and N2 fixation in the Atlantic Ocean. Biogeosciences, 7, 3167–3176. image007

42. López-Sandoval, D. C., Marañón, E., Fernández, A., González, J., Gasol, J. M., Lekunberri, I., Varela, M., Calvo-Díaz, A., Morán, X. A. G., Álvarez-Salgado, X. A., Figueiras, F. G. (2010) Particulate and dissolved primary production by contrasting phytoplankton assemblages during mesocosm experiments in the Ría de Vigo (NW Spain). Journal of Plankton Research, 32, 1231-1240. image007

41. Martínez-García, S., Fernández, E., Calvo-Díaz, A., Marañón, E., Morán, X. A. G., Teira, E. (2010) Response of heterotrophic and autotrophic microbial plankton to inorganic and organic inputs along a latitudinal transect in the Atlantic Ocean. Biogeosciences, 7, 1701-1713. image007

40. Huete-Ortega, M., Marañón, E., Varela, M., Bode, A. (2010) General patterns in the size scaling of phytoplankton abundance in coastal waters during a 10-year time series. Journal of Plankton Research, 32, 1-14. image007

39. Marañón, E. (2009) Phytoplankton size structure. In: Encyclopedia of Ocean Sciences, 2nd Edition (J.H. Steele, K.K. Turekian and S. A. Thorpe, Editors). Oxford, Academic Press. image007

38. Marañón, E. (2008) Inter-specific scaling of phytoplankton production and cell size in the field. Journal of Plankton Research, 30, 157-163. image007 Recommended by F1000-post-publication peer review

37. Cermeño, P., Marañón, E., Harbour, D., Figueiras, F. G., Crespo, B. G., Huete, M., Varela, M., Harris, R. P. (2008) Resource levels, allometric scaling of population abundance, and marine phytoplankton diversity. Limnology and Oceanography, 53, 312-318. image007

36. Marañón, E., Cermeño, P., Rodríguez, J., Zubkov, M. V., Harris, R. P. (2007) Scaling of phytoplankton photosynthesis and cell size in the ocean. Limnology and Oceanography, 52, 2190-2198. image007

35. Marañón, E., Pérez, V., Fernández, E., Anadón, R., Bode, A., González, N., Huskin, I., Isla, A., Morán, X. A. G., Mouriño, B., Quevedo, M., Robinson, C., Serret, P., Teira, E., Varela, M. M., Woodward, E. M. S., Zubkov, M. V. (2007) Planktonic carbon budget in the Eastern Subtropical North Atlantic. Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 48, 261-275. image007

34. Pérez, V., Fernández, E., Marañón, E., Morán, X. A. G., Zubkov, M. V. (2006) Vertical variability of phytoplankton biomass, production and growth in the Atlantic subtropical gyres. Deep-Sea Research I, 53, 1616–1634. image005

33. Cermeño, P., Marañón, E., Harris, R., Harbour D. (2006) Invariant scaling of phytoplankton abundance and cell size in contrasting marine environments. Ecology Letters, 9, 1210-1215. image005

32. Suggett, D. C. Moore M., Marañón, E., Omachi, C., Varela, R. A., Aiken, J., Holligan, P. M. (2006) Photosynthetic electron turnover in the tropical and subtropical Atlantic Ocean Deep-Sea Research II, 53, 1573-1593. image005

31. Cermeño, P., Marañón, E., Pérez, V., Serret, P., Fernández, E., Castro, C. G. (2006) Phytoplankton size structure and primary production in a highly dynamic coastal ecosystem (Ría de Vigo, NW-Spain): seasonal and short-time scale variability. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 67, 251-266. image005

30. Cermeño, P., Estévez-Blanco, P., Marañón, E., Fernández, E. (2005) Maximum photosynthetic efficiency of size-fractionated phytoplankton assessed by 14C-uptake and fast repetition rate fluorometry. Limnology and Oceanography, 50, 1438-1446. image005

29. Marañón, E., Cermeño, P., Pérez, V. (2005) Continuity in the photosynthetic production of dissolved organic carbon from eutrophic to oligotrophic waters. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 299, 7-17. image005

28. Cermeño, P., Marañón, E., Rodríguez, J., Fernández, E. (2005) Large-sized phytoplankton sustain higher carbon-specific photosynthesis than smaller cells in a coastal eutrophic ecosystem. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 297, 51-60. image005 Recommended by F1000-post-publication peer review

27. Cermeño, P., Marañón, E., Rodríguez, J., Fernández, E. (2005) Size dependence of coastal phytoplankton photosynthesis under vertical mixing conditions. Journal of Plankton Research, 27, 473-483. image005

26. Pérez, V., Fernández, E., Marañón, E., Serret, P., Varela, R., Bode, A., Varela, M. M., Morán, X. A. G., Woodward, E. M. S., Kitidis, V., García-Soto, C. (2005) Latitudinal distribution of microbial plankton abundance, production and respiration in the Equatorial Atlantic in autumn 2000. Deep Sea Research I, 52, 861-880. image005

25. Marañón, E. (2005) Phytoplankton growth rates in the Atlantic subtropical gyres. Limnology and Oceanography, 50, 299-310. The image “http://webs.uvigo.es/avelando/aves_archivos/tabla_archivos/mount.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

24. Teira, E., Mouriño, B., Marañón, E., Pérez, V., Pazó, M. J., Serret, P., Fernández, E. (2005) Variability of chlorophyll and primary production in the Eastern North Atlantic subtropical gyre: potential factors affecting phytoplankton activity. Deep-Sea Research I, 52, 569-588.image005

23. Pérez, V., Fernández, E., Marañón, E., Serret, P, and García-Soto, C. (2005) Seasonal and interannual variability of chlorophyll a and primary production in the Equatorial Atlantic: 'in situ' and remote sensing observations. Journal of Plankton Research, 27, 189-197. image006 

22. Marañón, E., Cermeño, P., Fernández, E., Rodríguez, J., Zabala, L. (2004) Significance and mechanisms of photosynthetic production of dissolved organic carbon in a coastal eutrophic ecosystem. Limnology and Oceanography, 49, 1652-1666. The image “http://webs.uvigo.es/avelando/aves_archivos/tabla_archivos/mount.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

21. Tyrrell, T., Marañón, E., Poulton, A., Bowie, A. R., Harbour, D. S., Woodward, M. (2003) Large-scale latitudinal distribution of Trichodesmium spp. in the Atlantic Ocean. Journal of Plankton Research, 25, 405-416. The image “http://webs.uvigo.es/avelando/aves_archivos/tabla_archivos/mount.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

20. Suárez, I., Marañón, E. (2003) Photosynthate allocation in a temperate sea over an annual cycle: the relationship between protein synthesis and phytoplankton physiological state. Journal of Sea Research, 50, 285-299. The image “http://webs.uvigo.es/avelando/aves_archivos/tabla_archivos/mount.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

19. Marañón, E., Behrenfeld, M. J., González, N., Mouriño, B., Zubkov, M. V. (2003) High variability of primary production in oligotrophic waters of the Atlantic Ocean: uncoupling from phytoplankton biomass and size structure. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 257, 1-11. The image “http://webs.uvigo.es/avelando/aves_archivos/tabla_archivos/mount.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

18. Fernández, E., Marañón, E., Serret, P, Morán, X. A. G. (2003) Potential causes for the unequal contribution of picophytoplankton to total biomass and productivity in oligotrophic waters. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 254, 101-109. The image “http://webs.uvigo.es/avelando/aves_archivos/tabla_archivos/mount.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

17. González, N., Anadón, R., Marañón, E. (2002) Large-scale latitudinal distribution of planktonic net community metabolism in the Atlantic Ocean: the importance of temporal variability in oligotrophic subtropical waters. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 233, 21-30. The image “http://webs.uvigo.es/avelando/aves_archivos/tabla_archivos/mount.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

16. Mino, Y., Saino, T., Suzuki, K., Marañón, E. (2002) Isotopic composition of suspended particulate nitrogen (d15Nsus) in surface waters of the Atlantic Ocean from 50°N to 50°S. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 16(4), Article No. 1059. The image “http://webs.uvigo.es/avelando/aves_archivos/tabla_archivos/mount.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

15. Marañón, E., Holligan, P. M., Barciela, R., González, N., Mouriño, B., Pazó, M. J., Varela, M. (2001) Patterns of phytoplankton size–structure and productivity in contrasting open ocean environments. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 216, 43-56. The image “http://webs.uvigo.es/avelando/aves_archivos/tabla_archivos/mount.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

14. Behrenfeld, M. J., Marañón, E., Siegel, D. A. and Hooker, S. B. (2001) A photoacclimation and nutrient based model of light-saturated photosynthesis for quantifying oceanic primary production. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 228, 103-117. The image “http://webs.uvigo.es/avelando/aves_archivos/tabla_archivos/mount.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

13. Marañón, E., Holligan, P. M., Varela, M., Mouriño, B. and Bale, A. J. (2000) Basin-scale variability of phytoplankton biomass, production and growth in the Atlantic Ocean. Deep-Sea Research I, 47, 825-857. The image “http://webs.uvigo.es/avelando/aves_archivos/tabla_archivos/mount.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

12. Marañón, E. and Holligan, P. M. (1999) Photosynthetic parameters of phytoplankton from 50°N to 50°S in the Atlantic Ocean. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 176, 191-203. The image “http://webs.uvigo.es/avelando/aves_archivos/tabla_archivos/mount.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

11. Head, R., Crawford, D., Egge, J., Lesley, D., Kristiansen, S., Marañón, E., Pond, D., Purdie, D. y Harris, R. (1998) The hydrography and biology of a bloom of the coccolithophorid Emiliania huxleyi in the Northern North Sea. Journal of Sea Research, 39, 255-266. image007

10. Marañón, E. and González, N. (1997) Primary production, calcification and macromolecular synthesis in a bloom of the coccolithophorid Emiliania huxleyi in the North Sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 157, 61-77. image007

9. Marañón, E., Fernández, E., Harris, R. P. and Harbour, D. S. (1996) Effects of the diatom-Emiliania huxleyi succession on photosynthesis, calcification and carbon metabolism by size-fractionated phytoplankton. Hydrobiologia, 317, 189-199. image007

8. Fernández, E., Marañón, E., Harbour, D. S., Kristiansen, S. and Heimdal, B. R. (1996) Patterns of carbon and nitrogen uptake during blooms of Emiliania huxleyi in two norwegian fjords. Journal of Plankton Research, 18, 2349-2366. image007

7. Bode, A., Casas, B., Fernández, E., Marañón, E., Serret, P. and Varela, M. (1996) Phytoplankton biomass and production in shelf waters off NW Spain: spatial and seasonal variability in relation to upwelling. Hydrobiologia, 341, 225-234. image007

6. Fernández, E., Marañón, E. and Balch, W. M. (1996) Intracellular carbon partitioning in Emiliania huxleyi. Journal of Marine Systems, 9, 57-66. image007

5. Fernández, E., Marañón, E., Álvarez, F. and Anadón, R. (1995) Vertical particle flux in outer shelf waters of the Cantabrian Coast in summer 1993. Oceanologica Acta, 18, 379-384. image007

4. Marañón, E. and Fernández, E. (1995) Changes in phytoplankton ecophysiology across a coastal upwelling front. Journal of Plankton Research, 17, 1999-2008. image007

3. Marañón, E., Fernández, E. and Anadón, R. (1995) Patterns of macromolecular synthesis by natural phytoplankton assemblages under changing upwelling regimes: in situ observations and microcosm experiments. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 188, 1-28. image007

2. Fernández, E., Marañón, E., Harbour, D. S. and Pingree, R. D. (1994) Phytoplankton carbon incorporation patterns and biochemical composition of particulate matter in the eastern North Atlantic subtropical region. Journal of Plankton Research, 16, 1627-1644. image007

1. Fernández, E., Balch, W. M., Marañón, E. and Holligan, P. M. (1994) High rates of lipid biosynthesis in cultured, mesocosm and coastal populations of the coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 114, 13-22. image007

Recent oral presentations

· Marañón, E. (2013) Patterns in phytoplankton size structure: abundance, biomass and production in coastal and open-ocean waters. The 45th International Liège Colloquium, Liège (Belgium). image007

· Marañón, E., Cermeño, P., Latasa, M., Tadonléké, R. M. (2012) Does temperature affect phytoplankton size structure in the ocean? ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting, Otsu (Japan). image007

· Marañón, E. (2012) Effects of atmospheric nutrient deposition on the surface ocean’s biology: community structure, metabolic rates, and biogeochemical fluxes. SOLAS Open Science Conference, Cle Elum, Washington State (USA). image007

· Marañón, E. (2011) Searching for general patterns in the response of microbial plankton to atmospheric deposition. ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting, San Juan (Puerto Rico).

· Marañón, E., Fernández, A., Huete-Ortega, M., Mouriño B., Cermeño, P., Chouciño, P., Martínez, S., Teira, E., Calvo, A., Morán, X. A. G., Bode A., Moreno-Ostos, E., Patey, M., Achterberg, E. P. (2009) Effects of experimental dust addition on the biomass and metabolism of microbial plankton in the oligotrophic Atlantic Ocean. ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting, Nice (France).

· Marañón, E., Cermeño P, Rodríguez J (2007) Phytoplankton metabolism and the ¾-power rule. IV Conference of the European Phycological Society, Oviedo (Spain).

· Marañón, E. (2006) Structure and functioning of the planktonic community in the Atlantic subtropical gyres. Biodiversity and Biogeochemistry of the Atlantic Ocean, The Royal Society, London (UK)

Last updated January 2014