Bringing the paradigm for marine pelagic production into the 21st century; incorporating mixotrophy into mainstream marine research (2017 – 2021)
The overarching objective of MixITiN was development and deployment of new methodologies for researching, monitoring and modelling the mixoplankton-based marine food chain to aid in updating environmental management tools and policies, and also to train the first of the next generation of marine researchers in the new paradigm.
MixITiN employed 11 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) and the programme was designed to provide these researchers with a range of cross-disciplinary skillsets from molecular biology, physiology and computer modelling, to marine and coastal zone management, public and media engagement.
In order to design such a comprehensive programme, Dr Mitra brought together her cross-disciplinary expertise and experiences of working in academia, media, local government, publishing and with the public.
The MixITiN consortium thus consisted of a team of 5 universities, 5 research institutions and 5 non-academic providers from 9 countries across Europe.
The synergy of intersectoral training approaches thus provided to the ESRs has equipped them for employment in various sectors such as consultancy, government, academic and allied industries.
At the end of 4 years, all the objectives have been met. A range of peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts have been published, and a suite of open access manuals – guides for field and laboratory techniques, protocols for molecular techniques and models for in silico experiments – have been developed and published. These manuals will not only enable the marine sector to start to integrate mixoplankton-facing research within their activities but also provide education material for the generation beyond MixITiN.