Dr. LaRoche holds a Canada Research Chair Tier 1 in marine microbial genomic and biogeochemistry in the Department of Biology at Dalhousie University, Halifax. At Dalhousie, Dr. LaRoche’s research focusses on marine microbes and their role in biogeochemical cycle, especially their role in the recycling of nitrogen and carbon. Dr. LaRoche is an active member of several international and national research initiatives such as Ocean sampling Day (#myOSD), Ocean acidification research (MEOPAR; I-CAP) and the Earth Microbiome Project (EMP). She is a member and module leader in the Ocean Frontier Institute, where she leads the establishment of a marine microbial observatory in the North West Atlantic Ocean. More recently, Dr. LaRoche has been applying her expertise on microbial genomics to research applications relevant to the aquaculture industry, in particular working with CERMAQ Canada, and shellfish growers on both the East and West Coasts of Canada. Due of the difficulty in culturing marine microbes, the research on marine microbial communities, diversity and function has relied extensively worldwide on high throughput sequencing of environmental DNA (eDNA). Several global initiative in characterizing marine microbial communities through metagenomics have led to the generation of big and complex data.
Food Production Security in Fisheries and Aquaculture panel. Dr. LaRoche will discuss the progress, challenges and outlook associated with the current high throughput approaches to the study of the marine microbes and environmental DNA.
Dr. LaRoche obtained a BSc from McGill University, Montreal and her PHD from Dalhousie University. Prior to rejoining Dalhousie University in 2012, Dr. LaRoche worked at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in the USA and at the GEOMAR in Germany.