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My research explores the interactions of food (prey) quality and quantity on consumer dynamics and thence on trophic dynamics (stoichiometric ecology) and biogeochemistry. Targets for this work are primarily planktonic and microbial systems, with recent emphasis upon mixotrophic plankton and variations in predation rates with prey size, abundance and nutritional quality. Applied aspects include optimisation of algal biomass production in the presence of zooplanktonic pests, and microbial activity in wetlands. The tools for research are primarily dynamic adaptive multi-nutrient (variable stoichiometry) models. I am currently involved in various EU, RCUK and Welsh funded projects investigating a variety of issues ranging from sustainable use of water to the impact of human behaviour on the global oceans. I have also experienced life on the other side of research as Managing Editor of the Journal of Plankton Research (a peer-reviewed scientific journal publication from Oxford University Press), a climate research consultant for the Welsh Local Government Association, and as Biodiversity Officer for Bridgend County Borough Council.

Areas of Expertise

  • Systems Dynamics Modeller
  • PhD Zooplankton Growth Dynamics; A Modelling Study (SAMS/Open University, UK)
  • MSc Ecosystems Analysis & Governance (Warwick; UK)
  • BSc (Hons) Botany (Presidency, India) 1st Class


  1. Leles, S., Mitra, A., Flynn, K., Tillmann, U., Stoecker, D., Jeong, H., Burkholder, J., Hansen, P., Caron, D., Glibert, P., Hallegraeff, G., Raven, J., Sanders, R., Zubkov, M. Sampling bias misrepresents the biogeographical significance of constitutive mixotrophs across global oceans Global Ecology and Biogeography 28 4 418 428
  2. Sandhu, S., Morozov, A., Mitra, A., Flynn, K., Mitra, A. Exploring nonlinear functional responses of zooplankton grazers in dilution experiments via optimization techniques Limnology and Oceanography 64 2 774 784
  3. Mitra, A. The Perfect Beast Scientific American 318 4 26 33
  4. Leles, S., Polimene, L., Bruggeman, J., Blackford, J., Ciavatta, S., Mitra, A., Flynn, K. Modelling mixotrophic functional diversity and implications for ecosystem function Journal of Plankton Research 40 6 627 642
  5. Ghyoot, C., Flynn, K., Mitra, A., Lancelot, C., Gypens, N. Modeling Plankton Mixotrophy: A Mechanistic Model Consistent with the Shuter-Type Biochemical Approach Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 5
  6. Polimene, L., Sailley, S., Clark, D., Mitra, A., Allen, J. Biological or microbial carbon pump? The role of phytoplankton stoichiometry in ocean carbon sequestration Journal of Plankton Research
  7. Mitra, A., Flynn, K., Tillmann, U., Raven, J., Caron, D., Stoecker, D., Not, F., Hansen, P., Hallegraeff, G., Sanders, R., Wilken, S., McManus, G., Johnson, M., Pitta, P., Våge, S., Berge, T., Calbet, A., Thingstad, F., Jeong, H., Burkholder, J., Glibert, P., Granéli, E., Lundgren, V. Defining Planktonic Protist Functional Groups on Mechanisms for Energy and Nutrient Acquisition: Incorporation of Diverse Mixotrophic Strategies Protist 167 2 106 120
  8. Stoecker, D., Hansen, P., Caron, D., Mitra, A. Mixotrophy in the Marine Plankton Annual Review of Marine Science 9 1 311 335
  9. Mitra, A., Flynn, K. Exploring the Implications of the Stoichiometric Modulation of Planktonic Predation (Ed.), Aquatic Microbial Ecology and Biogeochemistry: A Dual Perspective 77 89 Springer International Publishing
  10. Mitra, A., Flynn, K., Burkholder, J., Berge, T., Calbet, A., Raven, J., Granéli, E., Glibert, P., Hansen, P., Stoecker, D., Thingstad, F., Tillmann, U., Våge, S., Wilken, S., Zubkov, M., Flynn, K., Mitra, A. The role of mixotrophic protists in the biological carbon pump Biogeosciences 11 4 995 1005
  11. Mitra, A., Castellani, C., Gentleman, W., Jónasdóttir, S., Flynn, K., Bode, A., Halsband, C., Kuhn, P., Licandro, P., Agersted, M., Calbet, A., Lindeque, P., Koppelmann, R., Møller, E., Gislason, A., Nielsen, T., St. John, M. Bridging the gap between marine biogeochemical and fisheries sciences; configuring the zooplankton link Progress in Oceanography 129 176 199
  12. Polimene, L., Mitra, A., Sailley, S., Ciavatta, S., Widdicombe, C., Atkinson, A., Allen, J., Mitra, A. Decrease in diatom palatability contributes to bloom formation in the Western English Channel Progress in Oceanography 137 484 497
  13. Sailley, S., Polimene, L., Mitra, A., Atkinson, A., Allen, J., Mitra, A. Impact of zooplankton food selectivity on plankton dynamics and nutrient cycling Journal of Plankton Research 37 3 519 529
  14. Flynn, K., Stoecker, D., Mitra, A., Raven, J., Glibert, P., Hansen, P., Granéli, E., Burkholder, J., Mitra, A. Misuse of the phytoplankton-zooplankton dichotomy: the need to assign organisms as mixotrophs within plankton functional types Journal of Plankton Research 35 1 3 11
  15. Lundgren, V., Roelke, D., Brooks, B., Granéli, E., Davis, S., Baty, T., Scott, W., Mitra, A. Prymnesium parvum invasion success into coastal bays of the Gulf of Mexico: Galveston Bay case study Harmful Algae 43 31 45
  16. Jiao, N., Robinson, C., Azam, F., Thomas, H., Baltar, F., Dang, H., Hardman-Mountford, N., Johnson, M., Kirchman, D., Koch, B., Legendre, L., Li, C., Liu, J., Luo, T., Luo, Y., Mitra, A., Romanou, A., Tang, K., Wang, X., Zhang, C., Zhang, R., Mitra, A. Mechanisms of microbial carbon sequestration in the ocean – future research directions Biogeosciences 11 19 5285 5306
  17. St. John, M., Barange, M., Benway, H., Flynn, K., Holt, J., Merino, G., Martin, A., Mitra, A., Melle, W., Sanders, R., Trenkel, V., Grigorov, I., Hoffman, E., Flynn, K., Mitra, A. Introduction to the BASIN Special Issue: State of art, past present a view to the future Progress in Oceanography 129 171 175
  18. Anderson, T., Hessen, D., Mitra, A., Mayor, D., Yool, A. Sensitivity of secondary production and export flux to choice of trophic transfer formulation in marine ecosystem models Journal of Marine Systems 125 41 53
  19. Acheampong, E., Nielsen, M., Mitra, A., St. John, M., Mitra, A. Towards an adaptive model for simulating growth of marine mesozooplankton: A macromolecular perspective Ecological Modelling 225 1 18
  20. Mitra, A., Davis, C. Defining the “to” in end-to-end models Progress in Oceanography 84 1-2 39 42
  21. Anderson, T., Mitra, A. Dysfunctionality in ecosystem models: An underrated pitfall? Progress in Oceanography 84 1-2 66 68
  22. Mitra, A. Are closure terms appropriate or necessary descriptors of zooplankton loss in nutrient–phytoplankton–zooplankton type models? Ecological Modelling 220 5 611 620
  23. Mitra, A., Flynn, K., Fasham, M. Accounting for grazing dynamics in nitrogen-phytoplankton-zooplankton (NPZ) models Limnology and Oceanography 52 2 649 661
  24. Mitra, A., Flynn, K., Fasham, M. Accounting for grazing dynamics in nitrogen-phytoplankton-zooplankton (NPZ) models Limnology and Oceanography 52 2 649 661
  25. Mitra, A., Flynn, K. Accounting for variation in prey selectivity by zooplankton Ecological Modelling 199 1 82 92

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  • Accounting for mixotrophy in marine microbial food webs (awarded 2019)

    Other supervisor: Prof Kevin Flynn