UCI Earth system scientist Adam Martiny (pictured) will receive about $658,000 of a $1.2 million National Science Foundation grant over four years to study nitrate uptake by single-cell bacteria called prochlorococcus in the ocean off Bermuda. Martiny and colleagues recently reported that these bacteria – which perform photosynthesis in the ocean – have genes responsible for taking up nitrogen. Previously, scientists believed they only took in ammonium, generated from dead cells in the water. The gain and loss of nitrogen is important to the global carbon cycle. Martiny’s study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.