Alexandra Z. Worden is a Senior Scientist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, a non-profit organization focused on the intersection of oceanographic science and technology development. Worden’s research is highly interdisciplinary, integrating genomics and evolutionary biology to explore microbial roles in CO2 fixation. Her lab has pioneered approaches for genomic analysis of uncultured unicellular eukaryotes and quantifying their contributions to marine photosynthesis. Her group continues to develop approaches for systems biology and sea-going studies of unicellular eukaryotes, their ecosystem roles, interactions and fate. Her lab also studies the evolution of the land plant ancestor. An underlying principle for her research is that microbes must be studied at habitat scales relevant to their adaptive strategies to determine how their metabolism influences larger-scale ecosystem dynamics and how global CO2 uptake by phytoplankton will transition during climate change.