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The MicroArctic Network

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Upcoming conferences

PAM 2017 (Polar and Alpine Microbiology), 8-12 September 2017, Nuuk, Greenland

Registration is now open for PAM 2017. For more information, http://pam2017.org

Second network event

The second MicroArctic event took place in Akureyri, Iceland from April 3-9, 2017.  The theme for this training course was "Further skills in Microbial Ecology." The schedule is available here.
Iceland

Third network event: Bioinformatics

MicroArctic ESRs will receive hands on training in Bioinformatics through a course offered by MicroArctic beneficiary, mBioinform in Copenhagen. The course will take place from June 7-11, 2017.

 

First network event

The first MicroArctic network took place from November 20-27 in Longyearbyen.  A schedule for the meeting is available here.


Group photo

To view larger group photo (courtesy of Gary Barker), click here.

MicroArctic Logo

In collaboration with other MicroArctic ESRs and beneficiaries, ESR Robin Wojcik from GFZ has created a logo for the MicroArctic project.  Click here to open up the full size logo

.MicroArctic Logo

About

The Arctic plays a key role in Earth's climate system and is an geographical area of growing strategic importance for European policy. In this ITN, we will train the next generation of Arctic microbiology and biogeochemistry experts who, through their unique understanding of the fast changing Arctic environment and the factors that impact ecosystem and organism response to the warming Arctic, will be able to respond to the need for governance and leadership in various aspects related to public, policy and commercial interests.

The training and research programme of MicroArctic is made up of seven interlinked Work Packages (WP). WP1 to WP4 are research work packages at the cutting-edge of Arctic science and these are linked through three overarching WPs (WP5-7) associated with the training and management of the ITN. WP1 will deliver information about the role and influence of external inputs of nutrients that drive biogeochemical processes through the investigation of annual variation in microbial activity and biogeochemical processes in terrestrial Arctic ecosystems. For the first time, biogeochemical winter processes and their impact on the summer melting microbial dynamics will also be considered. WP2 will explore ecosystem responses to these inputs in the already changing Arctic. The effect of time and season and the warming of the Arctic (melting glaciers and thawing permafrost) on ecosystem functioning and Arctic natural resources, such as soil development, evolutionary ecology and fast adaptation, over time scales of hundreds of years will be quantified through geochemical analyses and next generation multi-omics approaches. Complementing WP2, WP3 will focus on organism response and adaptation (e.g., key fungal species, psychrophiles, methanogens and cyanobacteria) using a range on biochemical, molecular, experimental and culturing approaches. These first three WP will be developed interactively in order to provide synergistic scientific evaluations of the potential effects of managing Arctic warming during Horizon 2020 and beyond. Addressing specific societal issues, such as agricultural practices, colonisation by pathogenic organisms and biotechnological exploitation of Arctic ecosystems, will be the focus of WP4, which will link the research underpinning the first three WP's with local community knowledge and practices. WP4 will also provide, for the first time, information on policy and economic aspects related to the commercial exploitation of microorganisms in the Arctic.

Training on all aspects of research WP1- 3 will give MicroArctic fellows much needed knowledge in state-of-the-are skills to better grasp pressing social, policy and economic issues. These latter themes will be further reinforced through the projects in WP4, which will focus on the relationships between societal needs and fundamental science. Interactions between these four complementary WPs will be achieved in part through cross-sectoral secondments that will also transcend WP boundaries. Annual meetings between the various teams and all Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) will fully explore possible interactions at each collaborative partner scale and target discussions to lead to common crossdisciplinary and cross-team publications that connect the different activities. To achieve this vision, MicroArctic brought together interdisciplinary experts from across Europe into a network of 21 Institutions from 12 countries. MicroArctic encompasses teams with outstanding track records in microbial ecology, biogeochemistry, environmental mineralogy, molecular biology, pathogenic microbes and social sciences. Furthermore, non-academic partners providing services in bioinformatics, bio-sensing, bio-prospecting, biomining and understanding of pathogens boost the inter-sectoral training opportunities for the network's ESRs and thus link the next generation of Arctic microbiologists and biogeochemists with Europe's market needs. This will result in substantial synergy and provide an exciting research and training environment for all ESRs. The research goals of MicroArctic will be implemented by managerial WPs (WP0 and 5). These will deal with recruitment following best practice based on knowhow of network members with extensive previous experience in running EU projects (WP0) and also provide the framework for overall management, functioning and communication within the network and with the European Union (WP5). Finally, WP 6 and 7 will ensure the coordinated delivery of the overall training (WP6) and result dissemination programme (WP7) of MicroArctic.

 

Beneficiaries

MicroArctic  involves 11 different beneficiaries throughout Europe. For more information about the network, please see below.

Alex Anesio

Prof. Alex Anesio, Project Coordinator

University of Bristol
School of Geographical Sciences
United Kingdom

 

Uni Bristol 

Gary Barker PhD Lecturer

Biological Sciences
University of Bristol
United Kingdom
http://www.cerealsdb.uk.net

Uni Bristol 
Catherine Larose

Dr. Catherine Larose

Ecole Centrale de Lyon, Université de Lyon
Environmental Microbial Genomics Group
France

ECL 
David Pearce

Prof. David Pearce

Northumbria University
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
United Kingdom

Northumbria 
Birgit Sattler

Prof. Birgit Sattler

University of Innsbruck
Institute of Ecology
Austria

Innsbruck 
Dirk Wagner

Prof. Dirk Wagner

German Research Centre for Geosciences
Section Geomicrobiology
Germany

GFZ 
Beat Frey

Dr. Beat Frey

Swiss Federal Research Institute
Rhizosphere Processes Group
Switzerland

WSL 
Liane G. Benning

Prof. Liane G. Benning

German Research Centre for Geosciences
Section Interface Geochemistry
Germany

GFZ 
Carsten Jacobsen

Dr. Carsten Jacobsen

mBioInform
Denmark

mBio 
Nina Gunde Cimerman

Prof. Nina Gunde Cimerman

University of Llubljana
Department of Biology
Slovenia

Llubljana 
Cristina Purcarea

Dr. Cristina Purcarea

University of Bucharest
Department of Microbiology
Romania

IBB 
Oddur Vilhelmsson

Dr. Oddur Vilhelmsson

University of Akureyri
Natural Resource Sciences
Iceland

Akureyri 
Cedric Malandain

Dr. Cédric Malandain

ENOVEO
France

Enoveo 
Andrew Mitchell

Dr. Andrew Mitchell

University of Aberystwyth
Department of Geography and Earth Sciences
United Kingdom

Aberystwyth 
Florian Brill

Dr. Florian H. H. Brill

Dr. Brill + Partner GmbH
Institute for Hygiene and Microbiology
Germany
http://www.brillhygiene.com

Brill 

 

 

Associated Partners

David Pearce

Dr. David Pearce

University Centre Svalbard
Arctic Biology

Norway

UNIS 
Anders Prieme

Dr. Anders Priemé

University of Copenhagen
Center for Permafrost
Denmark

KU 
No Photo

Dr. Elke Dittmann- Thünemann

University of Potsdam
Institute Biochemistry/Biology
Germany

Potsdam 
No Photo

Dr. David Rooke

Dynamic Extractions
Research Development
United Kingdom

Eynamic Extractions 
Anne Jungblut

Dr. Anne Jungblut

Natural History Museum
LIfe Sciences Department
United Kingdom

NHM 
Starri Heidmarsson

Dr. Starri Heidmarsson

Icelandic Institute of Natural History
Akureyri
Iceland

IINH 
Svetlana Evgrafova

Dr. Svetlana Evgrafova

Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences
Sukachev Institute of Forest
Russia

SBRAS 
Olafur Andresson

Dr. Olafur S. Andresson

University of Iceland
Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences
Iceland  

NHM 
Cinzia Verde

Dr. Cinzia Verde

Institute of Biosciences and Bioresources 
National Research Council
Italy

AnT-Era project
 

NHM 

Management

Clare Desplats is the project manager for the MicroArctic network.

To contact Clare: cd16444@bristol.ac.uk

 

Management meeting: Akureyri, Iceland, April 8, 2017

The third MicroArctic management meeting (open to all PIs and ESRs) was held at University of Akureyri on April 8, 2017. The meeting commenced with a review of finances and more particularly an explanation of how network meeting costs are covered.

As the project manager had received a number of email inquiries about how the costs of secondments should be handled, the meeting next moved to a review of secondment obligations and finances. ESRs were reminded about their obligation to go on secondment and to write a short paragraph about their experiences while on secondment to be posted to the MicroArctic website. Both PIs and ESRs were reminded that any changes to the original secondment plan have to be first approved by the project officer. The project manager also explained that the participant portal now has an option to add information about secondments to the researcher declaration and reminded all PIs that they should complete this information for their ESRs.

Next, the project manager and coordinator presented the first progress report to be submitted to the European Commission by April 30, 2017. The six parts of the progress report were reviewed: general progress of the action, recruitment strategy, career development plans for ESRs, management, communication activities and impact. PIs and ESRs were requested to send the coordinator any updates to their outreach activities and/or publications by April 15, 2017.

The meeting next moved to a discussion of the mid-term review. The project manager explained the typical breakdown of a mid-term review and reminded all ESRs and PIs that their presence is obligatory. Several locations were suggested for the review with the understanding that the dates and location have to be submitted to the project officer for approval. To keep costs down, a management meeting and training event will be associated with the mid-term review.

After this discussion, the group reviewed the originally scheduled network events as defined in the consortium agreement to ensure that all training is on track to be delivered before the end of the project. ESRs were asked to contact the project manager with any additional training needs they might have. The project manager will then contact the PIs to see what is available and to post optional training courses to the project website.

As Outreach is an important component of MSCA ITN projects, all ESRs were reminded about this obligation. So far, all ESRs have completed at least one activity and some have even done three or four. In Akureyri, the project coordinator, PIs and ESRs took part in a large-scale outreach activity open to primary school students. The project manager reminded the ESRs to document these activities on the progress reports they submit to her every six months.

PIs next discussed insurance issues when ESRs are working in the field. It was agreed that the local rules at each institute should be respected and that ESRs MUST always check that they have insurance in please, but that when ESRs from different institutes work together in the field, they must ensure that they are in compliance with the rules of the various institutes.

Both PIs and ESRs were reminded about the open access obligation of H2020 ITNs and the need to acknowledge EC funding. The project manager has created a community in the Zenodo repository and publications will be stored there as they become available.

The meeting concluded with an open forum for discussion.

Management meeting Svalbard, November 21, 2016

The second MicroArctic management meeting was held during the kick off meeting in Svalbard and was attended by a representative from all beneficiaries as well as by the Early Stage Researchers. The meeting commenced with a reminder about various contractual obligations including the submission of researcher declarations on the participant portal and the requirement to provide the ESRs with a copy of the grant agreement. Initially, several host institutes had difficulties submitting the researcher declarations due to problems on the portal but all declarations have now been created. Clare, the project manager, has asked the project officer to re-open the declarations to allow beneficiaries to modify the email addresses provided for the ESRs. As the commission wishes to contact the ESRs 2 years after termination of their employment contracts, it is necessary to provide an email address which will still be valid in the future.

The meeting next moved to a review of project finances. As indicated in the consortium agreement, a portion of the Research Training budget was held back at University of Bristol to cover the costs associated with network wide training events. Because of the location of these events (the Arctic), the costs tend to be quite high for the group, but this was anticipated in the original project description and some of the later network events will be held in continental Europe (i.e the mid-term review) so costs should be lower. Clare next asked if there were any questions about the four budget categories: Living, Mobility, Research Training and Management+Overheads. She reminded all beneficiaries that a first financial report will be submitted to the European Commission after month 24 (April 2018).

Following a question and answer session about finances, the meeting moved to a discussion about Open Access requirements for publications. Under H2020, all peer reviewed publications must be Open Access. One of the beneficiaries raised the question about book chapters and how this would work in terms of Open Access. It was agreed that Clare would contact the project officer to ask her how to proceed. Beneficiaries were also reminded about the contractual obligation to request permits for sampling and transportation of samples outside of EU countries before performing sampling activities.

The Early Stage Researchers were reminded about their contractual obligations to spend time on secondment and to perform public outreach activities. Two ESRs volunteered to create facebook and twitter accounts to be used to post information of interest to the general public. These accounts will be linked to the dedicated MicroArctic website. The ESRs were also reminded about their obligation to fill in a personal career development plan in collaboration with their supervisors. ESRs will also be obliged to fill in semi-annual progress reports which will serve not only as a record of their training experience but will also be used to complete the annual progress reports to be provided to the European Commission. Both PIs and ESRs were reminded that their attendance at the project mid-term review is obligatory.

The meeting concluded with a discussion about upcoming network events and more particularly about the finances behind these events: how to find the most reasonably priced accommodations, how to bring fellows into the field in the most economical manner and how to optimize transportation costs (i.e. bus rentals vs. car rentals).

MicroArctic first management meeting: April 5, 2016: London, United Kingdom

The first MicroArctic management meeting was held at the Hilton Garden Inn near Heathrow Airport to facilitate travel to the event for a maximum number of beneficiaries and administrative and financial staff.  After a brief personal introduction from all present and a welcome to everyone by the project coordinator, Alex Anesio, the meeting moved on to a detailed discussion of H2020 MSCA ITN finances.

First, the project manager, Clare Desplats, described the project consortium, the type of project, the number of expected ESRs and the project start and end dates.  Next, she presented an explanation of pre-financing and the expected schedule of payments over the course of the project.  The presentation then moved on to a description of unit costs as defined by H2020 projects and an explanation of the various cost categories: Living, Mobility, Research Training and Management and Overheads.  Clare explained which costs are devoted to recruited researchers and which costs are considered to be institutional costs.  Differences in the various cost categories between FP7 and H2020 ITNs were also underscored and an explanation of how to declare non euro costs was provided.  All participants were informed about the need to fill in a financial report after month 24 and after month 48 of the project and a schedule of project reports to be submitted to the European Commission was circulated.

Following a question and answer session devoted to project finances, the meeting next moved on to a discussion of the Consortium Agreement and particularly the use of funds from the Research Training Category and from the Management and Overheads category.  Participants also discussed intellectual property rights and the need to make fellows aware of IPR, particularly for those working in industry.  Beneficiaries were reminded of the need to comply with local and national rules governing ethics in terms of transportation of materials from non EU countries.

After the consortium agreement, the meeting continued with a discussion of Recruitment practices.  All beneficiaries were informed about the European Commission's guidelines for OTM-R (Open, Transparent, Merit-based Recruitment) and a checklist of items to consider when recruiting was distributed. Eligibility and mobility criteria were explained. All 15 ESR positions were advertised in a group advertisement placed on the Euraxess website, but beneficiaries were encouraged to advertise widely in other locations to encourage a maximum number of applications.  It was agreed that a project website would be developed by Clare and that links to job opportunities at various host institutes would be added once the information was sent to Clare.  A list of items to be included on employment contracts was presented and a pdf of the presentation was circulated to all beneficiaries.  All partners were reminded about the obligation to fill in an online declaration of conformity within 20 days of the start date of the ESR employment contract. This portion of the meeting concluded with another question and answer session.

The next part of the meeting turned to a review of the obligations of Marie Curie fellows to spend time on secondment and to perform outreach activities targeting the general public.  Beneficiaries were asked to remind fellows to acknowledge Marie Curie funding on any and all publications, posters, etc produced during their fellowships.  Various opportunities for Outreach actions at the different host institutes were discussed.  Next, the meeting moved to a discussion of network events described in Annex 1 to the Grant Agreement.  Dates and locations of the anticipated events were reviewed and finally, the entire group reviewed the breakdown of work packages and ESR positions as described in the annex to ensure that no major deviations were anticipated.

The meeting ended with an open forum to encourage the beneficiaries to discuss possible future collaborations and to allow industrial and academic partners to discuss joint recruitment strategies.

 

Early Stage Researchers (ESRs)

15 Early Stage Researchers will be recruited to the MicroArctic network. As fellows join the network, their photos and contact information will be posted here.

Alex Holland ESR 1: Alexandra Holland
Home country: USA

Host institute:
School of Geographical Sciences,
University of Bristol,
University Road,
Bristol BS8 1SS
United Kingdom
Research interests I am interested in studying the surface chemistry of glaciers and ice sheets in order to identify the different factors that are influencing their decrease in albedo and subsequent increased melting rate. I am specifically interested in supraglacial impurities such as dark snow and cryconite material that have been found to be significantly decreasing the surface reflectivity of the glaciers. My research interests revolve around analyzing these substances and understanding more clearly what they are composed of. By understanding that, we can identify their origin and be able to more accurately include them into our models for predicting the melting rates of glacier and ice sheets.
Curriculum vitae

cv_alexandra_holland

Benoit Bergk Pinto ESR 2: Benoît Bergk Pinto
Home country: Belgium

Host institute:
Environmental Microbial Genomics Group
Laboratoire Ampère UMR CNRS 5005
Ecole Centrale de Lyon
Université de Lyon
36, avenue Guy de Collongue
69134 ECULLY cedex
France
Research interests I’m fascinated by microbiology but also by bioinformatics, this is why I’ve done two masters. For this reason, I’m very glad to have the opportunity to carry out a PHD in the Microarctic Project because it includes both scientific fields. During these three years, I would like to investigate the microbial diversity of arctic ecosystems by means of metagenomic/metatranscriptomic studies in order to characterize the seasonal changes affecting these communities as well as their roles in the biogeochemical cycles. The results of these global studies could also be used to build new hypotheses to test in the field or in microcosm experiments. Finally, if I get the opportunity, the development of a whole new tool (bioinformatics software or experimental method) for the microbiologic field could also be a challenge that I would like to face.
Curriculum vitae

cv_benoit_bergk_pinto

Lucie Malard ESR 3: Lucie Malard
Home country: France

Host institute:
Northumbria University
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
2 Ellison Place Newcastle-upon-Tyne
NE1 8ST
United Kingdom
Research interests My professional experience in biology is very diverse; my main focus has been ecology in marine ecosystems but I have also worked in medical microbiology before moving on to marine chemistry, bioprospecting and coral microbiology. My main research aim is to provide an understanding of biological networks and their interactions by using a wide diversity of tools, from genomics to ecology. Extremophiles are some of the most intriguing organisms mainly due their adaptations to their extreme living environments, which can be surprising and unique. Being fascinated by the Arctic, I am pleased to have the opportunity to work as part of the MicroArctic consortium. I will explore microbial biodiversity in diverse Arctic environments and aim to identify sources and sink populations across the Arctic region.
Curriculum vitae

cv_lucie_malard

Nora Els ESR 4: Nora Els
Home country: Germany

Host institute:
University of Innsbruck
Institute of Ecology
Lakes and Glacier Research Group
Technikerstrasse 25
6020 Innsbruck
Austria
Research interests During both my academic and personal life, I have been fascinated by snow and ice in all their features and the global connections of these systems. Air masses are essential in global and local environmental interlinkage, especially with respect to climate change. My research will focus on investigating the mechanisms and patterns of airborne community inputs on glacial ecosystems and their potential as seed populations to understand biodiversity, biogeography and evolutionary relationships of glacial microbial diversity. In association with this scope I am also interested in the connection of aerial microbiota to anthropogenic neighbourhoods and their potential as cloud and ice condensation nuclei. However, for me it is equally important to think about ways to communicate science to a broader public.
Curriculum vitae

cv_nora_els

Stine Holm ESR 5: Stine Holm
Home country: Denmark

Host institute:
Helmholtz Centre Potsdam
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
Telegrafenberg
14473 Potsdam
Germany
Research interests I am fascinated by the barren, challenging and isolated - Arctic as a microbial habitat, with its low biomass, spatial heterogeneity and growth limiting factors. How do microorganisms survive, encountering stress factors such as desiccation, freeze-thaw and high UV radiation, and how do they respond to environmental changes? I do understand the importance of studying glacial environments in the light of the ongoing warming of our planet, and the potential conversion of the Arctic tundra from a carbon sink to a carbon source, as a result of the melting glaciers. With an offset in the model organism the methanogenic archeon Methanosarcina soligelidi SMA-21 (Wagner D. et al, 2013), isolated from permafrost in the North-east Siberian, my research will focus on mapping archeal communities in circum Arctic and characterizing those members involved in the carbon cycling in permafrost environments by next generation sequencing and laboratory based batch experiments.
Curriculum vitae

cv_stine_holm

Robin Wojcik ESR 6: Robin Wojcik
Home country: France

Host institute:

GFZ, German Research Center for Geosciences
Interface Geochemistry Group
4.4Telegrafenberg
14473 Potsdam
GERMANY
Research interests My work within the MicroArctic project will aim to improve our understanding of the glacial forefield ecosystem response to changing environmental conditions in the Arctic. My research interest specifically aims to develop a geochemical model of the bulk and micro-scale changes in geochemical and mineralogical parameters that link C and nutrient cycling to weathering. To this end, my task is to participate in Arctic field work and collect depth- and time-resolved samples; to quantify the bulk elemental and micro-scale geochemical and mineralogical variations to evaluate weathering budgets; determine carbon and nutrient (P, N and Fe) speciation and evaluate links between abiotic and biotic processes affecting weathering.
Curriculum vitae

cv_robin_wojcik

Johanna Donhauser ESR 7: Johanna Donhauser
Home country: Germany

Host institute:
Swiss Federal Research Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL
Forest Soils and Biogeochemistry
Zürcherstrasse
1118903 Birmensdorf
Switzerland
Research interests I am mainly interested in how soil microorganisms react to warming and other global change related climatic shifts. More precisely, I want to find out how their altered activity is associated with soil formation and with global element cycles, especially the carbon and the nitrogen cycle which in turn will have a feedback on climate change. This is of particular interest in extreme environments such as the Arctic or alpine regions, as those are predicted to be especially susceptible to climatic alterations. I use a suit of molecular tools such as next generation sequencing in order to analyze how the composition of microbial communities shifts in response to warming and other climatic impacts.
Curriculum vitae

cv_johanna_donhauser

Zohaib Anwar ESR 8: Muhammad Zohaib Anwar
Home country: Pakistan

Host institute:
mBioinform
Ole Maaloes Vej 3,
2200 Copenhagen
Denmark
Research interests My research interests have been very diverse in Bioinformatics. My professional research experience is in developing and using computational techniques to explore the microbial diversity and building a comprehensive database of 16S Microbial Profiles of different environments [Henschel et. al, PLoS Comput Biol, 11(10), e1004468.]. During my PhD in the MicroArctic Project I would like to explore the microbial diversity of arctic environment in addition to formulate standardized pipelines for full RNA based analysis of the microbial communities in Arctic environment. Arctic plays a pivotal role in the Earth’s climate system and with this study we will be able to understand the abundance and functional profile of different Microorganisms in the region.
Curriculum vitae

cv_muhammad_zohaib_anwar

Laura Perini ESR 9: Laura Perini
Home country: Italy

Host institute:
University of Ljubljana
Biotechnical Faculty
Department of Biology
Jamnikarjeva 101
SI-1000 Ljubljana
Slovenia
Research interests My research interests are focused on microbial ecology in cold extreme ecosystems with primary interests on: I) biodiversity of extremophilic microorganisms (Bacteria and Fungi) in Arctic glacial ice, including mechanisms of multidrug resistance and pathogenity; II) development and application of metagenomic and transcriptomic approaches to the study of microbial biodiversity with a focus on fungal responses to some environmental driver variables; III) analysis of synergistic and antagonistic interactions between microorganisms inhabiting glacial ice and assessment of a their possible production of new antimicrobial compounds.
Curriculum vitae

cv_laura_perini

Antonio Mondini ESR 10: Antonio Mondini
Home country: Italy

Host Institute:
Institute of Biology Bucharest
Department of Microbiology
296 Splaiul Independentei
Bucharest 060031
Romania
Research interests I am mainly interested in bioprospecting from extreme environments, and in particular from extreme cold environments such us Arctic and Antarctic regions. Extremophilic microorganisms, population dynamics and genetic diversity of Bacteria and Archaea in cold environments. I am especially interested in psychrophilic enzymes isolated from these microorganisms, which have high biotechnological and medical applications. Molecular adaptation mechanisms to extreme environments and external stress factors. In addition, novel methods for microorganisms isolation in order to improve the isolation of bacteria belonging to the so-called “uncultivable fraction of microorganisms
Curriculum vitae

cv_antonio_mondini

 

Ingeborg Klarenberg ESR 11: Ingeborg Klarenberg
Home country: Netherlands

Host Institute:
The University of Akureyri
Norðurslóð 2
600 Akureyri
Iceland

Research interests I have a diverse background in earth science and environmental science and so are my research interests. They range from microbial ecology to biogeochemical cycles to plant and landscape ecology and nature conservation. I am fascinated by the Arctic and interested in understanding the interactions between these topics in relation to global environmental change. High-arctic wetlands are important carbon stores and are threatened by climate change. Many organisms in these systems rely on symbioses with bacteria for instance for nutrient acquisition. In order to understand ongoing changes in microbial communities associated with vegetation in these wetlands, my research will focus on determining the composition, activity and fate of bacterial symbiotic associations with lichens and bryophytes in permafrost-marginal Arctic wetlands, using mesocosms, molecular techniques and culturing techniques.
Curriculum vitae

cv_ingeborg_klarenberg

 

Rose Layton ESR 12: Rose Layton
Home country: United Kingdom

Host Institute:
Enoveo
7 Place Antonin Poncet
69002 Lyon
France
Research interests My research interests are founded in microbiology with a particular emphasis on extremophiles, their adaptations and their fundamental role in biogeochemical cycling. I feel passionately about conservation and minimising the effects of global warming for future generations and to preserve the natural world. As the Arctic plays a pivotal role in the Earth’s climate system, my research seeks to link the molecular changes in Arctic microbial communities with the abiotic changes occurring as a result of global warming. I will be applying climate change simulations, metagenomic and metatranscriptomic approaches to help elucidate microbial community diversity and function and the potential implications of a rapidly warming Arctic. ​​
Curriculum vitae

cv_rose_layton

 

Melanie Hay ESR 13: Melanie Claire Hay
Home country: South Africa

Host Institute:
Department of Geography & Earth Sciences
Aberystwyth University
Llandinam Building
Penglais Campus
Aberystwyth
SY23 3DB
Wales
United Kingdom
Research interests I intend to use my background in medical biochemistry and genetics to investigate potential applications for Arctic microorganisms in economic and environmental services. Specifically, I am interested in identifying genes and enzymes for pharmaceutical or biotechnological use, with a focus on drug discovery. Due to global warming, the investigation of these Arctic microorganisms is of urgent importance, as theses extreme environments, and the microbial biodiversity they contain, are under threat. To identify biomolecules of interest, I will generate deep-sequenced metagenomes and employ functional metagenomics to identify genes and enzymes in microbes that exhibit key functional capabilities.
Curriculum vitae

cv_melanie_hay

 

Gilda Varliero ESR 14: Gilda Varliero
Home country: Italy

Host Institute:
School of Biological Sciences,
University of Bristol,
24 Tyndall Avenue,
Bristol BS8 1TQ
United Kingdom

Research interests I have always been fascinated by the stunning complexity possessed by living cells. My main research interest is to unravel it through the development of new bioinformatics tools and pipelines. Having a better quality of genomic and gene data would increase the amount of information that we are now able to extrapolate and would allow us to reveal novel biosynthetic/catalytic pathways and protein variants of interest. I am specifically interested on microbial and fungal communities sampled in extreme environment, such the Arctic.
Curriculum vitae

cv_gilda_varliero

Diana Arias ESR 15: Diana Carolina Mogrovejo Arias
Home country: Ecuador

Host Institute:
Dr. Brill + Partner GmbH
Institut für Hygiene und Mikrobiologie
Stiegstück 34,
DE - 22339 Hamburg
Germany

Research interests I am very fond of life sciences in general, particularly Microbiology. I have worked with microorganisms for the most part of my professional life and have grown to become passionate about them. My work will be aimed at sampling and characterizing potentially pathogenic bacteria evaluating their antibiotic resistance in order to determine their abundance, diversity and significance in Arctic environments. My research’s goal is to contribute with clear applications of microbial research to economy and health for I believe microorganisms from extreme environments are the source of a myriad of molecules and could provide a sustainable solution to many problems that industry and academia face nowadays.
Curriculum vitae

cv_diana_carolina_mogrovejo_arias

 

Job opportunities

For more information about this position: http://www.brillhygiene.com/en/company/carreer

 

Publications

Abstracts, publications in peer reviewed journals and other outcomes produced by the MicroArctic consortium will be provided here as they become available.

 

Outreach

All MicroArctic ESRs will receive training on how to communicate to the general public in order to make science approachable as well as understandable. During the project we intend to link national programmes to include the younger generation (from little kids to teenagers) to (a) excite them for natural sciences and (b) to enlarge their horizon for polar regions being tightly coupled to temperate habitats due to globalization.

As MicroArctic fellows and/or PIs engage in Outreach activities, a list of events will be posted here.

Outreach Events:

21 April 2017: "Aktionstag", Young University of University of Innsbruck.

ESR Nora Els participated in this event open to school age children and dealing with diverse topics in science ranging from DNA to Migration to the Bronze Age to the Arctic.

13 April 2017: Science in the Arctic and the MicroArctic project

On 13th April ESR Muhammad Zohaib Anwar (mBioinform) gave a presentation about science in the Arctic and about the MicroArctic project in general at the City School International, Dubai, UAE. The presentation was to encourage students of High school and Secondary school to pursue careers in science and science in the Arctic especially. Students were very intrigued and actively participated in the event.

 

 

 

 

4 April , 2017: Science on the Ice

During the MicroArctic network event held in Akureyri, Iceland from April 3-8, 2017, project coordinator, Prof. Alexandre Anesio plus all 15 ESRs took place in a large scale outreach event open to primary school students.  After a brief presentation by the project coordinator, students were encouraged to interact with the ESRs to ask them questions about their experiences as researchers in the Arctic.

More information here: http://english.unak.is/en/all-events/science-on-the-ice 

13 March 2017: Project Greenland Lyon

The MicroArctic fellows recruited to Enoveo (Rose Layton) and Ecole Centrale Lyon (Benoït Bergk Pinto) as well as some of the Principal Investigators of the MicroArctic network and the project coordinator participated in an outreach event targeting high school and primary school students organised in Lyon in March 2017. A program for the event is available here.  Preparatory classes to teach the fundamentals of microbiology were composed of approximately 20 children at each session concluding with the “Project Greenland” outreach day where ESRs Rose Layton (Enoveo) and Benoit Bergk Pinto (ECL) delivered talks on their research.

8 March 2017: MicroArctic concepts and methods

ESR Stine Holm (GFZ) gave a presentation about her concept and methods during the Geomicobiology group meeting at GFZ. This group is made up of over 25 people working in a broad range of subjets within the field of geomicrobiology.

December 2016-January 2017: Creation of a MicroArctic facebook account

MicroArctic fellow, Lucie Malard (Northumbria) set up and coordinates the facebook account updated by MicroArctic fellows.  The goal of the facebook page is to provide inormation to the general public about MicroArctic activities. https://www.facebook.com/MicroArctic

December 2016-January 2017: Creation of a MicroArctic twitter account

MicroArctic fellow, Diana Carolina Mogrovejo Arias (Brill) set up and coordinates the twitter account updated by MicroArctic fellows. The goal of the twitter feed is to provide inormation to the general public about MicroArctic activities. https://twitter.com/MicroarcticEsrs

December 2016-January 2017: Creation of a logo for the MicroArctic Network

Following the kick-off meeting for the network held in November 2016, ESR Robin Wojcik proposed several logos for the ITN and then incorporated suggestions from the other members of the network.  The official logo was presented to the group in  January 2017 and will appear on any publications produced by the network.

27 January 2017: 9th Education and Career Fair of Slovenia Informativa, Gospodarsko razstavišče, Ljubljana

On January 27, ESR Laura Perini gave a presentation about the MicroArctic project at the 9th Education and Career Fair of Slovenia Informativa, which took place in Gospodarsko razstavišče, Ljubljana. It was an event intended for high school students and the general public to encourage young people to pursue careers in science.  For bigger picture, please click here.

 

 

 

13 January 2017: Presentation to Masters' students at University of Llubljana

MicroArctic ESR, Laura Perini, gave a presentation about the MicroArctic kick-off meeting to masters' students at the University of Llubljana in the framework of their course: Microbiology of extreme environments.  For bigger picture, please click here.

 

 

12 December 2016: Presentation of ITN network

On December 12th, ESR Stine Holm (GFZ) gave a presentation about the ITN kickoff meeting and a general description of the ITN network during a group meeting of the Geomicrobiology group. This group is made up of over 25 people working in a broad range of subjets within the field of geomicrobiology.

 

2/11/16 Access to Bristol Program

As part of a program to encourage young people to pursue a program of higher education, ESR Alexandra Holland from University of Bristol gave a presentation about how microbes grow on glaciers and the MicroArctic project to a group of local secondary school students.  Photos are available here.

More information about the program here:

http://www.bristol.ac.uk/study/teachers/post-16/access/

and

https://twitter.com/hashtag/accesstobristol?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Ehashtag

 

 

30/09/2016 European Researchers' Night
Hancock Museum, Newcastle, U.K.

https://twmuseums.org.uk/news/science-uncovered-comes-to-newcastle-for-the-first-time

Dr. David Pearce from Northumbria University took part in Science Uncovered at the Great North Museum: Hancock as part of European Researchers' Night.  The continent-wide initiative takes scientific research and showcases it in a fun, social setting.

Secondments

All Micro-Arctic Early Stage Researchers will spend time on secondment at a second host institute within the consortium.  A brief review of their time spent on secondment will be posted here.

ESR Lucie Malard (Northumbria)

Secondment 01/01/2017 to 28/02/2017 (Brill)

I went on secondment to Dr Brill + Partner, Institute for microbiology in Hamburg, Germany, where Diana Mogrovejo pursues her phD. She works on pathogenicity of environmental microorganisms and investigates antibiotic resistance in arctic microorganisms. While on secondment, I further developed my skills in practical microbiology, notably in the culture of microorganisms using new media and techniques for isolation. Together, we tested methods to run antimicrobial assays on environmental organisms, aiming to determine the best parameters for growth of Arctic bacteria which can be fastidious to culture. From this work, we began determining which phyla may be interesting to test and established collaboration to work together on isolating and identifying potentially valuable microorganisms.

This secondment was a great opportunity for skill development, networking and making industry contacts. However, great experiences aren’t all about work. Living in a different country, learning German and not being able to communicate properly are all amazing experiences. During this short time, I took the opportunity to wander around Germany and discovered many cities and landscapes full of history.

 
 
 

 

Network Events

A number of network wide training events will be organised over the course of the MicroArctic project. A list of events is provided below and more specific information will be added for each event as the network progresses. The first network event will take place at the University Centre of Svalbard (UNIS) pictured here below.

Longyearben UNIS

 

Photo taken from: http://www.eu-atp.org/wordpress/?cat=14

Date Title Location Training

20-27 November 2016

Project Kick-off meeting

Longyearbyen UNIS

Fieldwork in microbial ecology.

Schedule for the event

3-9 April 2017

Further skills in microbial ecology

UoAk

Selective isolation and culturing techniques. Schedule available here.

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Mid term review + review of ESR projects

Innsbruck

Outreach and popular scientific writing

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Microbial informatics

mBioinform

Copenhagen

June 7-11, 2017. Amplicon based microbial community analysis.

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Indigenous technical knowledge and scientific method

 

Bristol

Bio prospecting, bio politics, political ecology

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International Polar and Alpine Microbiology Meeting

Greenland

8-12 September, 2017. Conference plus management meeting.

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Careers plus final network event

Lyon

CV Writing, final conference plus outreach

 

State of the art training

Training activities which may be of interest to certain ESRs but not necessarily to the entire group will be posted here:

PHREEQC-i Short Course on Geochemical Modelling: July 17-21, 2017

For more information about this short course offered at GFZ, Potsdam, please view the attached flyer.

 

Contact us

Clare DesplatsClare Desplats is the project manager for the MIcroArctic network.

Clare has worked as a project manager in various Marie Curie Action's projects and other international projects for over 10 years and will work closely with all consortium members, ESRs and the European Commission for the successful management of the MicroArctic network.

For any questions related to the MicroArctic nework, please contact Clare at:

cd16444@bristol.ac.uk