Psarra Stella

by / Friday, 14 November 2014 / Published in people

Position: Associate Researcher, Phytoplankton ecology

Contact Info

Institute: Oceanography
Address: Former American Base of Gournes 71500, Heraklion Crete, Greece
Tel: +302810337848


Dr. Stella Psarra is an Associate Researcher at the Institute of Oceanography, HCMR. She assumed this post in December 2006.

Dr. Psarra obtained a PhD degree in phytoplankton ecology from the “Laboratoire d’Océanologie et de Biogéochimie – LOB”, working under the supervision of Dr. Patrick Raimbault, at the Centre d’Oceanologie de Marseille, Univ. d’Aix Marseille II, FRANCE. Her thesis work focused on the Influence of oligotrophy gradients on the structure and function of the primary echelon of the pelagic ecosystem in the Eastern Mediterranean (Aegean Sea). She also holds a master’s degree in Biological Oceanography and a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Athens, GREECE.

Dr. Psarra has worked as a research associate in biological oceanography at the Institute of Marine Biology of Crete (IMBC) from 1994 to 2003, and at the Institute of Oceanography of the Hellenic Center for Marine Research from 2003 onwards. She has worked in the framework of numerous EU and national projects, studying phytoplankton ecology (primary production, community structure, nutrient limitation, osmotroph and food web interactions) in the oligotrophic environment of the Aegean Sea and the eastern Mediterranean. Currently she is involved in the MedSea, PERSEUS IP and MedEcos and MedEx (Marinera) EU projects. She is also coordinating the “AegeanMarTec” project, financed by the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT) in the frame of THALIS projects.

Education Profile

• Ph.D., phytoplankton ecology, Universite de la Mediterranee (Aix Marseille II), FRANCE, 2002
• M.Sc., Oceanography (phytobentos ecology), University of Athens, GREECE, 1994
• B.Sc., Biology, University of Athens, GREECE, 1989

Professional Profile

• 2006–to date: Associate Researcher, Phytoplankton Ecology, Inst. of Oceanography, HCMR, Crete, GREECE
• 2003-2006: Research Scientist, Phytoplankton Ecology, Inst. of Oceanography, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Crete, GREECE.
• 1994 – 2003: Research Scientist, Phytoplankton Ecology, Dept. of Oceanography, Institute of Marine Biology of Crete (IMBC), GREECE
• 1992 – 1994: Research assistant, National Centre for Marine Research (NCMR), Phytobenthos Ecology, Athens, GREECE
• 1990 – 1992: Marine Biologist, Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association – HELMEPA, Αthens, GREECE

Scientific and Professional Memberships

• American Society of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO)
• Hellenic Oceanographers Association
• Hellenic Researchers Association
• Hellenic Zoological Society
• Hellenic Society of MikroBioKosmos

Research Interests

Dr. Psarra’s research interests are concerned with phytoplankton ecology in oligotrophic environments, focusing in the eastern Mediterranean. These involve studies of primary productivity of marine ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles (C, N), the role of limiting nutrients in productivity, taxonomy and biodiversity of phytoplankton, and more recently bio-optics and phytoplankton. The purpose of these studies, undertaken within the Planktonic and Microbial Ecology group, is to comprehend and describe the structure and function of oligotrophic ecosystems and ultimately assess fluxes through pelagic food webs.

    • Lagaria A., Psarra S., Lefèvre D., Van Wambeke F., Courties C., Pujo-Pay M., Oriol L., Tanaka T., Christaki U, 2011. The effects of nutrient additions on particulate and dissolved primary production in surface waters of three Mediterranean eddies. Biogeosciences 8 (9), 2595-2607


    • Christaki U., Van Wambeke F., Lefevre D., LagariA A., Prieur L., Pujo-Pay M.,  Grattepanche J.-D., Colombet J., Psarra S., Dolan J. R., Sime-Ngando T., Conan P., Weinbauer M. G. and T. Moutin, 2011. The impact of anticyclonic mesoscale structures on microbial food webs in the Mediterranean Sea. Biogeosciences, 8 (7), 1839-1852


    • Zervoudaki S., Christou E.D., Assimakopoulou G., Örek H, Gucu A.C., Giannakourou A., Pitta P., Terbiyik T., Yϋcel N., Moutsopoulos T., Pagou K., Psarra S., Ozsoy E., Papathanassiou E., 2011. Composition, production and grazing of copepods in the Turkish Straits System and the adjacent northern Aegean Sea during spring. J. Mar. Sys., 86 (3-4): 45-56


    • T. Tanaka, T. F. Thingstad, U. Christaki, J. Colombet, V. Cornet-Barthaux, C. Courties, J.D. Grattepanche, A. Lagaria, J. Nedoma, L. Oriol, S. Psarra, M. Pujo-Pay, and F. Van Wambeke, 2011. Lack of P-limitation of phytoplankton and heterotrophic prokaryotes in surface waters of three anticyclonic eddies in the stratified Mediterranean Sea, Biogeosciences, 8 (2), 525-538


    • Frangoulis C., Psarra S., Zervakis V., Meador T.B., Mara P., Gogou A., Zervoudaki S., Giannakourou A., Pitta P., Lagaria A., Krasakopoulou E., Siokou-Frangou I., 2010. Connecting export fluxes to plankton food web efficiency in the Black Sea waters inflowing into the Mediterranean Sea. J. Plankton Res. 32 (8): 1203-1216


    • Meador, T.B., Gogou, Α., Spyres, G., Herndl, G.J., Krasakopoulou, E., Psarra, S., Yokokawa, T., De Corte, D., Zervakis, V. and D.J. Repeta, 2010. Correlations between dissolved organic matter chemical composition, picoplankton activity, and biogeochemical cycles in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Deep Sea Research Part II, -Topical Studies in Oceanography,57 (16): 1460-1477


    • Tanaka, T., Zohary, T., Krom, M.D., Law, C.S., Pitta, P., Psarra, S., Rassoulzadegan, F., Thingstad, T.F., Tselepides, A., Woodward, E.M.S., Flaten, G.A.F., Skjoldal, E.F., Zodiatis, G., 2007. Microbial community structure and function in the Levantine Basin of the eastern Mediterranean. Deep Sea Research I 54 (10): 1721-1743


    • Isari S., Psarra S., Pitta P., Ramfos A., Somarakis S. Koutsikopoulos, Fragopoulu N. 2007. Differential patterns of mesozooplankters’ distribution in relation to physical and biological variables of the Northeastern Aegean Sea (eastern Mediterranean) Marine Biology 151 (3): 1035-1050


    • Thingstad, T.F., Law, C.S., Krom, M.D., Mantoura, R.F.C., Pitta, P., Psarra, S., Rassoulzadegan, F., Tanaka, T., Wassmann, P., Wexels Riser, C., T. Zohary, 2006. Response to Comment on ‘‘Nature of Phosphorus Limitation in the Ultraoligotrophic Eastern Mediterranean’’. Science, 312, p. 1748.


    • Psarra, S., Zohary, T., Krom, M.D., Mantoura, R.F.C., Polychronaki, T., Stambler, N., Tanaka, T., Tselepides, A., Thingstad, T.F., 2005. Phytoplankton response to a Lagrangian phosphate addition in the Levantine Sea (Eastern Mediterranean).Deep Sea Research II, 52(22-23): 2944-2960


    • Flaten, G. A.F., E. F. Skjoldal, M. D. Krom, C. S. Law, R. F. C. Mantoura, P. Pitta, S. Psarra, T. Tanaka, A. Tselepides, E. M. S. Woodward, T. Zohary and T. F. Thingstad, 2005. Studies of the microbial P-cycle during a Lagrangian phosphate-addition experiment in the Eastern Mediterranean. Deep Sea Research II 52(22-23): 2928-2943


    • Krom, M.D., Thingstad, T.F., Carbo, P., Drakopoulos, P., Fileman, T.W., Flaten, G.A.F., Groom., S., Herut, B., Kitides, V., Kress, N., Law., C.S., Liddicoat, M., Mantoura, R.F.C., Pasternak, A., Pitta, P., Polychronaki, T., Psarra, S., Rassoulzadegan, F., Skjoldal, E.F., Spyres, G., Tanaka, T., Tselipides, T., Wassmann, P., Wexels-Riser, C., Woodward., E.M.S., Zodiatis, G., Zohary, T., 2005. Summary and overview of the CYCLOPS P addition Lagrangian experiment in the Eastern Mediterranean. Deep Sea Research II 52(22-23): 3090-3108


    • Zohary, T., B. Herut, M. D. Krom, R. F. C. Mantoura, S. Psarra, P. Pitta,F. Rassoulzadegan, N. Stambler, T. F. Thingstad,T. Tanaka and E. M. S. Woodward, 2005. P-limited bacteria but N and P co-limited phytoplankton in the Eastern Mediterranean – a microcosm experiment. Deep-Sea Research II 52(22-23): 3011-3023


    • Groom, S., Herut, B., Brenner, S., Zodiatis, G., Psarra, S., Kress, N., Krom, M.D., Law, C., Drakopoulos, P., 2005. Satellite-derived spatial and temporal biological variability in the Cyprus Eddy. Deep Sea Research II 52(22-23): 2990-3010


    • Herut, B., Zohary, T., Krom, M.D., Mantoura, R.F.C., Pitta, P., Psarra, S., Rassoulzadegan, F., Tanaka, T., Thingstad, F., 2005. Response of East Mediterranean surface water to Sahara dust: On-board microcosm experiment and field observations Deep Sea Research II 52(22-23): 3024-3040


    • Kress, N., Thingstad, T.F., Herut, B., Zohary, T., Pitta, P., Psarra, S., Polychronaki, T., Spyres, G., Mantoura, R.F.C., Tanaka, T., Rasssoulzadegan, F., Groom, S., Krom, M.D., 2005. Effect of P and N addition to oligotrophic Eastern Mediterranean waters influenced by near-shore waters: A microcosm experiment. Deep Sea Research II 52(22-23): 3054-3073


    • Thingstad, T.F., Krom, M.D., Mantoura, R.F.C., Flaten, G.A.F., Groom, S., Herut, B., Kress, N., Law, C.S., Pasternak, A., Pitta, P., Psarra, S., Rassoulzadegan, F., Tanaka, T., Tselepides, A., Wassmann, P., Woodward, M.S., Wexels Riser, C., Zodiatis, G. and T. Zohary, 2005. Nature of phosphorus limitation in the ultraoligotrophic eastern Mediterranean.Science 309, No 5737: 1068-1071.


    • Ignatiades, L. Psarra, S., Zervakis, V., Pagou, K., Souvermezoglou, E., Assimakopoulou, G. & Gotsis-Skretas, O., 2002. Phytoplankton size-based dynamics in the Aegean Sea (Eastern Mediterranean). J. Mar. Sys., 36: 11-28.


    • Siokou-Frangou I., Bianchi M., Christaki U., Christou E., Giannakourou A., Gotsis O., Ignatiades L., Pagou K., Pitta P.,Psarra S., Souvermezoglou E., Van Wambeke F., & V. Zervakis, 2002. Organic carbon partitioning and carbon flow along a gradient of oligotrophy in the Aegean Sea (Mediterranean Sea), J. Mar. Sys. 33-34: 335-353.


    • Psarra, S., Tselepides, A., & Ignatiades, 2000. Primary productivity in the oligotrophic Cretan Sea (NE Mediterranean): seasonal and interannual variability. Progress in Oceanography, 46, (2-4), 187-204.


    • Van Wambeke, F., Christaki, U., Bianchi, M., Psarra, S. & A. Tselepides, 2000. Heterotrophic bacterial production in the Cretan Sea (NE Mediterranean). Progress in Oceanography, 46 (2-4), 205-216.


  • Turley, C.M., Bianchi, M., Christaki, U., Conan, P., Harris, JRW, Psarra, S., Ruddy, G., Stutt, ED., Tselepides, A. & F. Van Wambeke, 2000. The relationship between primary producers and bacteria in an oligotrophic sea – the Mediterranean and biogeochemical implications. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 193, p. 11-18.
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