Kyle Frischkorn

2017 AAAS Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellow

Columbia University, Biological Oceanography
Fellowship Sponsor: 
Fellowship Site: Smithsonian 

My dissertation research at Columbia University and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory has taken me across the high seas on big expeditions hunting for the smallest organisms. As a biological oceanographer, I use gene and genome sequencing to study a nitrogen fixing cyanobacterium called Trichodesmium that lives in the tropical open ocean. I’m interested in how they interact with the other bacteria that live on them—yes, Trichodesmium is a bacterium that has it’s own microbiome! Just like humans have a gut microbiome that helps us digest our food and fight off harmful pathogens, my hypothesis is that the Trichodesmium microbiome enables survival in the harsh, low nutrient environment of the open ocean. I’ve also capitalized on incredible research expeditions across the Pacific and Atlantic to design outreach events for kids that teach biology and ecology concepts using critters that live in the ocean.

This summer I’m looking forward to writing for Smithsonian Magazine in Washington D.C. and launching a future career in science communication. Follow my twitter @kylefrischkorn or check out my website to keep up with my writing and adventures on land and at sea.

Fellowship publications at The Smithsonian

6/14/2017          You Are What You Eat, And What You Eat Is Millions of Microbes

6/19/2017          Need to Fix a Heart Attack? Try Photosynthesis

6/29/2017          New Exhibition Asks "What Kind of Nation Do We Want to Be?"

6/29/2017          What are all the ways land can disappear beneath your feet

6/30/2017          Step Right Up to the Big Top Circus Tent at the 50th Annual Folklife Festival

7/06/2017          Why do we see more species in tropical forests? The mystery may finally be solved.

7/11/2017          Studying ant "noses" could lead to better bug repellents

7/12/2017          New assistive stairs put a spring in your step

7/13/2017          Why the first map of the ocean floor is stirring controversial waters

7/20/2017          A vehicle like this will one day go to Mars

7/25/2017          Meet the super villain worm that gets by with a little help from its friends

7/25/2017          Behind the scenes: skinning condors in the name of science

7/27/2017          Slugs inspire super-strong glue to seal wounds

8/03/2017          A blueprint for genetically engineering a super coral

8/07/2017          How fly guts help researchers catalog the rainforest

9/05/2017          TBP

10/01/2017          TBP

10/01/2017          TBP