Peter von Dassow is a phytoplankton biologist and oceanographer. He has been a professor in the Biological Sciences Faculty at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile since 2010, is one of the principal investigators of the research center Instituto Milenio de Oceanografía de Chile and is an associate fellow of the Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn di Napoli in Italy.  

Peter has been focused especially on understanding evolution, comparative physiology, and life cycles in coccolithophores and diatoms, focusing on the genera Gephyrocapsa and Pseudo-nitzschia. However, he is broadly interested in phytoplankton, especially when they not doing what they are expected to do. He has technical experience in flow cytometry, phytoplankton culturing and phylogeny, and has participated in projects in transcriptomics, genomics, and even synthetic biology. In this cruise, Peter is especially interested in why phytoplankton tend to disappear in the oxycline above the Anoxic Marine Zones, even when they have enough light and nutrients.

In 2003 Peter was awarded the NSF Microbiology Postdoc Award, and in 2008 he received the EU Marie Curie Postdoc Award.

Peter received a Bachelors in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Washington, a PhD in Oceanography from the University of California San Diego. He completed postdoctoral fellowships in the University of Washington, and in the Centre Nacional de la Recherche Scientifique in France.