I obtaine my PhD degree at ETH, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich

During my PhD training I worked with Dr. David Russel Johnson Lab at EAWAG and at Dani Or group at the Soil and Terrestrial Environmental Physics at ETH, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich.

My current research focus

My main research interest is to study the influence of the environmental factors on the spatial self-organization and interactions in model microbial communities. I’m using a synthetic model microbial community based on an engineered cross-feeding interaction to study the role of spatial self-organization on the community level property.

  • Metabolic specialization and the causes of diversity in microbial ecosystems. Johnson DR (lead PI). Swiss National Science Foundation. 2014-2017. Felix Goldschmidt, Postdoc, Davide Ciccarese Ph.D student
  • Design and systems biology of functional microbial landscapes ( van der Meer JR (lead PI), Hatzimanikatis V, Johnson DR, Or D, Que YA. program of the Swiss National Science Foundation. 2014-2018. Jan Dolinsek, Postdoc, Davide Ciccarese Ph.D student, Lea Caduff, laboratory technician

Previosly I worked at Jan Roelof van der Meer lab at UNIL as a research assistant.

The research focus was the study of the nitrogen cycle in soils using next generation sequencing in the Wester Swiss Alps (picture on the right shows the elevetion strata of the sampling site) .

Characterization of microbial communities involved in nitrogen cycling applying Soil Metagenomics Analysis, Next Generation Sequencing Technology and Bioinformatics ( QIIME, BASH, R).

Analyze DNA samples isolated from more than 200 soil sites in the western Swiss Alps for the presence and diversity of the nifH gene. I optimized and develop a protocol that allows me to amplify nifH gene fragments from soil DNA using conserved primers, which can then be processed by Illumina high throughput sequencing. I built a database for nifH genes, that can be used as reference for sequence read mapping by QIIME. The project has the aims to study the biogeography of microbial communities related to more than 40 environmental variabilities.

Competence aquired: next generation sequencing techniques, bioinformatic (Python, BASH for biological data manipulation, QIIME, UNCHIME, ARB, R), analysis of large gene data sets, soil metagenomics, molecular ecology, biostatistics.