An average teaspoon of ocean water contains five million bacteria and fifty million viruses – and yet we are just starting to discover how these "invisible engineers" control our ocean's chemistry. At TEDxMonterey, Melissa Garren sheds light on marine microbes that provide half the oxygen we breathe, maintain underwater ecosystems, and demonstrate surprising hunting skills.
Melissa Garren studies marine microbes to better understand how pollution and climate change are destroying coral reefs and effecting our environment. Working under a fellowship from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute she began using molecular techniques to study microbial life in the ocean. At the Costa Rican wildlife refuge, Melissa helped spearhead a long-term monitoring project as well as educational initiatives. After recently receiving her Ph.D. in Marine Biology from the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, she is now using microfluidic technology to understand the living ecosystem of coral reefs in a postdoctoral position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.