Soonmi Lee

Centre for Biodiversity Theory and Modelling
Station d’Ecologie Théorique et Expérimentale du CNRS
09200 Moulis, France

Phone: +33 (0)5 61 04 05 89

Research interests

In view of globally-increasing species loss driven by environmental change, the importance of diversity for ecosystem processes and properties has recently aroused considerable attention in marine ecology.

We are aware that comprehending how marine ecosystem is likely to respond under climate change is important for planning future biodiversity conservation strategies. Over the last several years, numerous experiments have been performed to figure out how climate change alters species richness and primary productivity. However, our knowledge of function of marine plankton diversity across spatial and temporal scales and how it changes through the characteristics of the local ecosystems such as species interactions is still very limited compared to that of the diversity in the terrestrial world. Therefore, my PhD work aims at understanding the effects of climate change on marine plankton diversity using a three-dimensional ocean circulation model that is combined with biogeochemical cycles and marine plankton communities. My project is set up around two key questions: First, I will gain mechanistic insights into how the changes in species interactions, in particular consumer diversity, affect species distribution patterns and diversity-productivity/diversity-stability relationships across spatial scales. Second, I will investigate the direct/indirect effects of climate change on marine ecosystems via global warming scenario (changes in mean temperature and temperature variability). I will try to explain the interactions between consumption, competition and temperature based on functional traits of plankton, for example size, uptake strategy or thermal preference.


  • Lee S., Hofmeister R. and Hens I. (2017) - The role of life cycle processes on phytoplankton spring bloom composition: a modeling study applied to the Gulf of Finland. Journal of Marine Systems (in review).
  • Lee S. and Yoo S. (2016) - Interannual variability of the phytoplankton community by the changes in vertical mixing and atmospheric deposition in the Ulleung Basin, East Sea: a modeling study. Ecological Modelling, 322, 3147.

Summary CV

  • May 2017 April 2020: PhD candidate at the CBTM (CNRS SETE, Moulis). "General ecosystem models under climate change scenarios and their consequences for species interactions, ecosystem productivity and stability". Supervisors: Jose Montoya and Michel Loreau.
  • 2016 2017: Research assistant at the Institute of Hydrobiology and Fisheries Science, University of Hamburg.
  • 2015 - 2016: Research assistant at the Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology.
  • 2013 - 2015: Ms.C. in Ocean Science and Technology School (Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology/Korea Maritime and Ocean University Joint Program). Thesis: Impacts of vertical mixing and atmospheric deposition on the southwestern East Sea ecosystem.