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In the past few years rapid progress has been made regarding our understanding of one of the dominant phytoplankton groups of the world's oceans: the coccolithophores. Among other initiatives, the EU-funded TMR network CODENET (Coccolithophores Evolutionary Biodiversity and Ecology Network) has provided new results and insights. These and many other findings are reviewed and synthesized in a number of individual chapters which focus on coccolithophore biology (molecular to cellular), ecology (experimental and in the ocean), evolutionary phylogeny and its impact on current and past global changes. Coccolithophores are emerging as a prime model for interdisciplinary global change research due to their great abundance, wide distribution and exemplary geological record. The results presented in this book address the fundamental question of the interaction between the biota and the environment at various temporal and spatial scales.