François Ribalet

Senior Research Scientist

University of Washington


I am a biological oceanographer working as a research scientist at the University of Washington. I study how microbial communities respond to environmental perturbations and ultimately how they will respond to future ocean conditions. My research approach uses flow cytometry observations collected from research vessels across ocean basins to build population models that predict cell, population and ecosystem interactions.


  • Microbial Ecology
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Population Modeling


  • PhD in Biological Sciences, 2007

    Open University, London UK

  • MSc in Biological Oceanology and Marine Environment, 2003

    Sorbonne University, Paris FR

  • BSc in Population Biology and Ecosystems, 2001

    Sorbonne University, Paris FR

Featured Project

Computational Flow Cytometry Analysis of Marine Phytoplankton

Since 2010, the shipboard underway cytometer SeaFlow has been operated for 17,000 hours across 175,000 km of ocean, collecting over 350,000 samples in surface waters.

Recent Publications

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Trophic interactions with heterotrophic bacteria limit the range of Prochlorococcus

Prochlorococcus is the smallest and most abundant photosynthetic organism on Earth and is thought to be confined to low-latitude …


Matrix Population Model

A size-structured matrix population model to estimate rates of cell division, carbon fixation and carbon loss in phytoplankton measured by flow cytometry.


A Kernel-based change detection method to map shifts in phytoplankton communities measured by flow cytometry during research cruises. In this project led by Dr.


Popcycle is an R package that offers a reproducible approach to process, calibrate and curate flow cytometry data measured by SeaFlow.



Senior Research Scientist

School of Oceanography, University of Washington

2015 – Present Seattle, USA

Research Assistant Professor

School of Oceanography, University of Washington

2012 – 2015 Seattle, USA

Postdoctoral Fellow

School of Oceanography, University of Washington

2008 – 2012 Seattle, USA

Graduate Research Assistant

Station Zoologica Anton Dohrn

2003 – 2007 Naples, IT

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Station Biologique de Roscoff

2001 – 2003 Roscoff, FR


  • ribalet@uw.edu
  • Benjamin Hall Interdisciplinary Research Building, Seattle, WA 98105
  • Office 315