Maxine Tan is a graduate student in the Allen lab studying nitrogen metabolism in diatoms. Maxine completed her BS in Marine Science (Biology) and Geosciences at Eckerd College, FL. During those four years, Maxine worked on pipefish population genetics, coral interspecific hybridization, sediment trace metal analyses, oyster trace metal bioaccumulation, heterologous expression of secondary metabolites, coral disease microscopy and coral microbiology. Her undergraduate thesis focused on how the bacterial community in coral mucus changes during spawning events.

Research Interests:

  •          Nitrogen uptake mechanisms
  •          Nitrate sensing in diatoms
  •          Microscopy
  •          Omics

Maxine is interested in understanding how diatoms sense external nitrogen concentrations leading to their rapid increase in biomass and the formation of diatom blooms. Her current research focuses on molecular events within the diatom cell that  enhance or inhibit nitrate uptake by diatoms. She is also interested in the biotech applications of diatoms for wastewater treatment and bioenergy.


Bauman, SJ, MT Costa, MB Fong, BM House, EM Perez, MH Tan, AE Thornton and PJS Franks. 2014. Augmenting the biological pump: The shortcomings of geoengineered upwelling. Oceanography 27(3):17-23.