I am interested in marine microbial ecology, evolutionary dynamics, mathematical ecology and oceanography. Currently I am working with theortical aspects of pelagic microbial food web structure using idealized models to understand pattern- and diversity generating mechanisms. A focus in this work is how trade-offs between different life strategies, such as strong abilities to compete for limiting resources, or strong defensive abilities against viral infections or predation, are fundamental to understand microbial community structure.
Recently, I have been working on the question of what determines success in the microbial part of the pelagic food web, with a focus on the discussion of why the highly abundant SAR11 bacteria are so successful. Our research indicates that a combination of good competitive and defensive abilities among different SAR11 strains seems key to success, rather than an extreme investment into either competition or defense.
Besides virus-host interactions, I have also a special interest in mixotrophic organisms combining different foraging modes and understanding when mixotrophy is a successful strategy in the ocean. Our work indicates that mixotrophs can under a variety of conditions successfully coexist with organisms specializing in a single foraging strategy, even at high costs of mixotrophy relative to specialized foraging. These theoretical results confirm findings of highly abundant and widespread mixotrophs in marine environments.
Teaching in the following subjects:
- Evolutionary Biology
- Marine Microbial Ecology
- Marine Biodiversity
- General microbiology
- Complexity and simplicity in microbial oceanography
Articles in revision:
Våge S, Talmy D, Follows M (in revision, Ecol Lett) A model for the origin of biomass scaling laws in ecology (Paper without supervisors)
Articles in peer-reviewed journals:
Våge S, Bratbak G, Egge J, Heldal M, Larsen A, Norland S, Lund Paulsen M, Pree B, Sandaa R-A, Foss Skjoldal E, Tsagaraki T, Øvreås L, Thingstad TF (2018) Simple models combining competition, defence and resource availability have broad implications in pelagic microbial food webs. Ecol Lett doi:10.1111/ele.13122
Sandaa R-A, Pree B, Larsen A, Våge S, Töpper B, Töpper JP, Thyrhaug R, Thingstad TF (2017) The Response of Heterotrophic Prokaryote and Viral Communities to Labile Organic Carbon Inputs Is Controlled by the Predator Food Chain Structure. Viruses 9:238 doi:10.3390/v9090238
Leles SG, Mitra A, Flynn KJ, Stoecker DK, Hansen PJ, Calbet A, McManus GB, Sanders RW, Caron DA, Not F, Hallegraeff GM, Pitta P, Raven JA, Johnson MD, Glibert PM, Våge S (2017) Oceanic protists with different forms of acquired phototrophy display contrastingbiogeographies and abundance. Proc R Soc B doi:10.1098/rspb.2017.0664
Record N, Talmy D, Våge S (2016). Quantifying tradeoffs for marine viruses. Front Mar Sci doi:10.3389/fmars.2016.00251
Pree B, Larsen A, Egge JK , Simonelli P, Madhusoodhanan R, Tsagaraki T, Våge S, Erga SR, Bratbak G, Thingstad TF (2016) Dampened copepod-mediated trophic cascades in a microzooplankton-dominated microbial food web: a mesocosm study. Limnol Oceanogr doi:10.1002/lno.10483
Våge, S, Pree, B. and Thingstad, T. F. (2016) Linking internal and external bacterial community control gives mechanistic framework for virus-to-bacteria ratios. Environ. Microbiol. doi:10.1111/1462-2920.13391
Mitra A, Flynn KJ, Tillmann U, Raven JA, Caron D, Stoecker DK, Not F, Hansen PJ, Hallegraeff G, Sanders R, Wilken S, McManus G, Johnson M, Pitta P, Våge, S., Berge T, Calbet A, Thingstad F, Jin Jeong H, Burkholder JA, Glibert PM, Graneli E, Lundgren V (2016) Defining planktonic protist functional groups on mechanisms for energy and nutrient acquisition; Incorporation of diverse mixotrophic strategies. Protist doi:10.1016/j.protis.2016.01.003
Våge, S. & Thingstad, T. F. (2015) Fractal hypothesis of the pelagic microbial ecosystem - Can simple ecological principles lead to self-similar complexity in the pelagic microbial food web? Front. Microbiol. 6:1357, doi:10.3389/fmicb.2015.01357
Thingstad, T. F., Pree, B., Giske, J. & Våge, S. (2015) What difference does it make if viruses are strain-, rather than species-specific?
Front. Microbiol. 6:320. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2015.00320
Våge, S., Storesund E., J., Giske, J. and Thingstad, T. F. (2014) Optimal defense strategies in an idealized microbial food web under trade-off between competition and defense, PLoS ONE 9:e010141 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0101415
Thingstad, T. F., Våge, S., Storesund E., J., Sandaa, R.-A. & Giske, J. (2014) A theoretical analysis of how strain-specific viruses can control microbial species diversity. PNAS 111:7813-7818 doi:10.1073/pnas.1400909111
Mitra, A., Flynn, K. J., Burkholder, J. M., Berge, T., Calbet, A., Raven J. A., Granli, E., Glibert, P. M., Hansen, P. J., Stoecker, D. K., Thingstad, F., Tillmann, U., Våge, S., Wilken, S., & Zubkov, M. V. (2014) The role of mixotrophic protists in the biological carbon pump Biogeosciences 11:995-1005, doi:10.5194/bg-11-995-2014
Våge, S., Castellani, M., Thingstad, T. F. & Giske, J. (2013) Successful strategies in size structured mixotrophic food webs. Aquat. Ecol. 47(3)329-347, doi:10.1007/s10452-013-9447-y
Våge, S., Storesund E., J. & Thingstad, T. F. (2013) SAR11 viruses and defensive host strains. Nature 499:E3-E4, doi:10.1038/nature12387
Castellani, M., Våge, S., Strand, E., Thingstad, T. F. & Giske, J. (2013) The Scaled Subspaces Method: A new trait-based approach to model communities of populations with largely inhomogeneous density. Ecol. Model. 251:173-186, doi:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2012.12.006.
Våge, S., Storesund E., J. & Thingstad, T. F. (2013) Adding a cost of resistance description extends the ability of virushost model to explain observed patterns in structure and function of pelagic microbial communities. Environ. Microbiol. 15(6):1842-1852, doi:10.1111/1462-2920.12077.
Våge, S., Basedow, S. L., Tande, K. S., & Zhou, M. (2011) Physical structure of the Barents Sea Polar Front near the Great Bank in August 2007. J. Mar. Syst. 130:256-262 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmarsys.2011.11.019
Våge, S. (2014) Pelagic microbial food web organization. Extending the theory for structure and diversity generating mechanisms based on life strategy trade-offs. University of Bergen, Norway. (https://bora.uib.no/handle/1956/7894)
Våge, S. (2010) Structure and dynamics of the Barents Sea Polar Front near the Great Bank and associated plankton distribution in August 2007. University of Tromsø, Norway. (http://munin.uit.no/handle/10037/2456)