Academy Research Fellow & Associate Professor
I am interested in eco-evolutionary dynamics and biodiversity in microbial communities. The majority of my research utilizes model organisms, such as bacteria, phages and protozoa, for testing ecological and evolutionary theory in simple microcosm environments. The common theme in this line of work is to test the role of rapid contemporary evolution on community dynamics. I am also interested in more applied questions such as how phage parasites alter harmful cyanobacterial blooms or how antibiotic resistance evolves in diverse microbial communities.
My interests lie at the interface of marine microbial ecosystems, microbial evolution, and global biogeochemistry. I use "omics" techniques and tools from microbial genetics and physiology to elucidate patterns of differentiation in microbial genomes with the ultimate goal of connecting these patterns to ecological and biogeochemical gradients. Consequently, I am interested in how microbial processes scale to influence biogeochemical cycles and the impacts of microbial ecology and evolution on wider ecosystem structure and function. I am currently exploring the role of rapid microbial evolution on the demographic fluctuations and ecological interactions within microbial communities.
I am interested in evolutionary microbial ecology examining how species evolve in relation to abiotic and biotic changes in their environment. A central interest is the role of antimicrobial resistance and how the contemporary evolution of this trait affects species interactions and dynamics within and across trophic levels in the microbial world. I utilize different model systems, ranging from synthetic bacterial communities within a context of experimental evolution, to coastal ecosystems where evolution can be observed in a more natural setting. My research interests include global environmental change (for example climate change and eutrophication) and observing how selection affects marine microorganisms to documented environmental change.
Microbial communities are essential for human and environmental health and they play a key role in reseaching rapid evolution. I am interested especially in the human gut microbiome and how microbial communities are affected by disturbance (e.g. antibiotics) and their ability to recover. In my PhD I focus on what role species interactions, predation and antibiotics have on shaping the community composition. As a model system I use synthetic microbial communities consisting of different bacterial species and predatory ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila. I am currently working on determining how evolutionary history and environment affects resilience, community composition and evolution of antibiotic resistance by doing simple microcosm experiments.
I am studying how ecological interactions (species interactions and environmental variation) in the outside-host environment affect host-pathogen interactions. Microbial ecology, different microbial communities and environmental issues interest me. My PhD work focuses on testing eco-evolutionary dynamics and the role of opportunistic pathogens in microbial communities. As a model system I use the nematode C. elegans (host / predator) and bacteria.
PhD student (main supervisor Marko Virta)
My backround is in microbiology. I'm interested in microbial ecology and the many interactions at the microbial level. I find the huge diversity of bacteria and their interplay with so many other organisms fascinating. The focus of my master's thesis is on how co-evolution alters community dynamics in ciliate-bacterium microcosms. In my thesis I studied evolved communities from the group's long-term predator selection experiment. I am pursuing a PhD in co-operation with this group.