John Berges



PhD, University of British Columbia, 1994
MSc University of Guelph, 1989
BSc, University of Guelph, 1987

Research Interests

My laboratory tackles questions in ecology and cell biology in aquatic organisms using a range of biophysical, physiological, biochemical and molecular tools. Although we tend to focus on planktonic systems, we are also interested in benthic and near-shore processes, and we work across the spectrum of living things, from bacteria to fishes. We move freely between the laboratory and the field. Our efforts have been informed by new genome sequence information becoming available, and we have been involved in several genome annotations of algal species.

We are especially interested in:

  • developing indices of biological rates and processes in aquatic ecosystems using a variety of biochemical and molecular methods, especially those involving enzymes
  • characterizing responses to stress and environmental change, using biophysical
    and biochemical approaches.
Recent and Selected Publications
Young, Erica B., and Berges, John A. “Nitrate reductase: a nexus of disciplines, organisms and metabolism.” Aquatic Nutrient Biogeochemistry and Microbial Ecology: A Dual Perspective. Ed. Glibert, Patricia. (2016).

Young, Erica B., and Berges, John A. “Nitrogen stress in the marine environment: from scarcity to surfeit.” Stressors in the Marine Environment: physiological responses and ecological implications. Ed. Solan, Martin. (2016).

Engevold, Paul, Young, Erica B., Sandgren, Craig D., and Berges, John A. “Pressure from top and bottom: lower food web responses to nutrient cycling changes and invasive species in western Lake Michigan.” Journal of Great Lakes Research 41. (2015).

Ribalet, F, Bastianini, M, Vidoudez, C, Berges, John A., Ianoura, A, Miralto, A, Pohnert, G, Romano, G, Wichard, T, and Casotti, R. “Phytoplankton cell lysis associated with polyunsaturated aldehyde release in the northern Adriatic Sea.” PloS One 9.1 (2014): e85947.

Hellweger, F L., Frederick, N D., and Berges, John A. “Age-correlated stress resistance improves fitness of yeast: support from agent-based simulations.” BMC Systems Biology 8. (2014): 18.

Berges, John A., Jiang, Y, Sterner, R W., Bullerjahn, G S., Ivanikova, N A., and McKay, R M.“Identification of factors constraining nitrate assimilation in Lake Superior, Laurentian Great Lakes.” Hydrobiologia 731. (2014): 81-94.

Schaefer, Wayne, Schmitz, Mark, Blazer, Vicki, Ehlinger, Timothy J., and Berges, John A.“Seasonal variation in the abundance of sandercyanin, a novel blue pigment in the mucus of walley (Sander vitreus) in northwestern Ontario, Canada.” Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 72. (2014): 1-9.

Berges, John A., Choi, Chang Jae, and . “Cell death in algae: physiological processes and relationships with stress.” Perspectives in Phycology. (2014).

Gronquist, David, and Berges, John A. “Effects of aquarium-related stresses on the zebrafish, Danio rerio:a comparison of behavioral, physiological and biochemical indicators.” Journal of Aquatic Animal Health 25. (2013): 53-65.

Bechette, Audrey, Stojsavljevic, Thomas, Tessmer, Maxx, Berges, John A., Pinter, Gabriella A., and Young, Erica B. “Mathematical Modeling of Bacteria-Virus Interactions in Lake Michigan Incorporating Phosphorus Content.” Journal of Great Lakes Research, Elsevier 39.4 (2013).

Choi, Chang Jae, and Berges, John A. “New types of metacaspases in phytoplankton reveal diverse origins of cell death proteases.” Cell Death and Disease 4. (2013): e490.

Franklin, Daniel J., Airs, Ruth L., Fernandes, Michelle, Bell, Thomas G., Bongaerts, Roy G., Berges, John A., and Malin, Gill. “Identification of senescence and death using live/dead stains and chlorophyll alterations in Emiliania huxleyi and Thalassiosira pseudonana.” Limnology and Oceanography 57. (2012): 305-317.

Xiao, Li, Young, Erica B., Berges, John A., and He, Zhen. “Integrated Photo-Bioelectrochemical System for Contaminant Removal and Bioenergy Production.” Environmental Science and Technology 46. (2012): 11459-11466.

Young, Erica B., Berges, John A., and Dring, Matthew J. “Physiological responses of intertidal marine brown algae to nitrogen deprivation and resupply of nitrate and ammonium.” Physiol. Plant. 135. (2009): 400-11.

Franklin, Daniel J., Choi, Chang J., Hughes, Claire J., Malin, Gillian, and Berges, John A. “Effect of dead phytoplankton cells on the apparent efficiency of Photosystem II.” Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 382. (2009): 35-40.

Berges, John A., and Mulholland, Margaret. “Chapter 32: Enzymes and N Cycling.” Nitrogen in the Marine Environment. Elsevier, (2008): 1361-1420.

Franklin, D. J., Brussaard, C. P., and . “What is the role and nature of programmed cell death in phytoplankton ecology?.” Eur. J. Phycol. 41. Ed. Berges, John A. (2006): 1-14.

Kirkpatrick, A. J., Gerhardt, A., Dick, J. T., Laming, P., and Berges, John A. “Suitability of Crangonyx pseudogracilis (Crustacea: Amphipoda) as an early warning indicator in the Multispecies Freshwater Biomonitor.” Env. Sci. Pollut. Res. 13. (2006): 242-250.

Armbrust, E. V., Berges, John A., Bowler, C., Green, B. R., Martinez, D., Putnam, N. H., Zhou, S., Allen, A. E., Apt, K. E., Bechner, M., Brzezinski, M. A., Chaal, B. K., Chiovitti, A., Davis, A. K., Demarest, M. S., Detter, J. C., Glavina, T., Goodstein, D., Hadi, M. Z., Hellsten, U., Hildebrand, M., Jenkins, B. D., Jurka, J., Kapitonov, V. V., Kröger, N., Lau, W. W., Lane, T. W., Larimer, F. W., Lippmeier, J. C., Lucas, S., Medina, M., Montsant, A., Obornik, M., Parker, M. S., Palenik, B., Pazour, G. J., Richardson, P. M., Rynearson, T. A., Saito, M. A., Schwartz, D. C., Thamatrakoln, K., Valentin, K., Vardi, A., Wilkerson, F. P., and Rokhsar, D. S. “The genome of the diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana: ecology, evolution, and metabolism.” Science 306.5693 (2004): 79-86.

Berges, John A., Gibson, C. E., and Stewart, B. M. “Physiological responses of phytoplankton communities in the Irish Sea to simulated upwelling.” Hydrobiologia 517. (2004): 121-132.

Franklin, D. J., Hoegh-Guldberg, O., Jones, R. J., and Berges, John A. “Cell death and degeneration in the symbiotic dinoflagellates of the Stylophora pistillata (Esper) in response to the combined effects of elevated temperature and light.” Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 272. (2004): 117-130.