Dr Nicole Patten is a microbial ecologist and biological oceanographer working at the South Australian Research and Development Institute. Her current work involves understanding planktonic food web structure (viruses through to zooplankton) and their coupling with oceanographic processes, to gain a better understanding of ecosystem function and productivity. She was recently involved with the multidisciplinary Great Australian Bight Research Program. Nicole completed her PhD in 2008 at Southern Cross University, investigating the roles of viruses in coral reef ecosystems. From there Nicole undertook a co-funded postdoctoral position with the University of Western Australian and the Australian Institute of Marine Science working as a biological oceanographer. This work involved investigating microbial food webs and their links with higher trophic levels and ecosystem production in coastal through to offshore locations in Western Australia (Ningaloo, Kimberley, Scott reef) and Queensland (Great Barrier Reef).