My research interest lie on microbial interactions in aquatic environments and the effect of these interactions on carbon cycles. I am interested in auxotrophies, metabolic complementarities, metabolic handoffs, microbial market and any kind of microbial cooperation.
Microorganisms are the most phylogenetically diverse and abundant taxa on Earth, and their functions are indispensable in regulating global elemental cycling, bioremediation, human health and other processes. The microbial world can be studied using cultivation-based or cultivation-independent techniques. Cultivation-independent techniques include holistic approaches, such as full community analysis of environmental samples, as well as reductionist approaches, such as single cell genomics. These methodologies have greatly contributed to our current understanding about indispensable microbial functions and their immense diversity. With my research, I have integrated these holistic and reductionist strategies, and leveraged an intermediate approach, such as model communities, allowing me to address new ecological questions about microbial interactions.
Together with collaborators I have studied very abundant and ubiquitous freshwater bacteria called acI (within the phylum Actinobacteria). Using multiple methodological approaches we found that the life strategy of this bacteria features reduced genomic content and cellular maintenance cost, exploiting promiscuous interactions to acquire necessary biomolecules. I am now looking to expand the research into microorganisms with diverse life style in aquatic systems.
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